Car Seat Headrest - Twin Fantasy
4d ago
91
Want to start off by saying thank you all so much for 1000 followers! I really appreciate everyone, I've had such a great time interacting with so many friendly and supportive people. AOTY is truly a wonderful community in my eyes! <3

This Twin Fantasy review...was really hard to put together. I've kept this story/event in my life away from everyone outside my family for a while now, but I've finally gained the courage and strength to talk about it and let go of my feelings of grief. There's a big reason why I've distanced myself from Twin Fantasy...

I once had a great friend from Tunisia who I met online many years ago (as respect to him and his family, I will not mention his name). Although we never met in real life, we learnt a lot about each other through the years as we talked and talked. He was gay, very shy, and cried a lot in most of our conversations, but was still such a cheerful person.

He was a big fan of music, like I was, and around the time of the album's release, was incredibly eager to talk about Twin Fantasy and how much it meant to him. He got me into Car Seat Headrest and although at the time, Twin Fantasy wasn't my cup of tea, seeing him be so genuine and passionate about the album truly made me appreciate the album so much more. Living in a country where homosexuality is criminalized (even punishable by death) and being subjected to so much abuse in his own household as he was not hesitant of sharing these stories to me, seeing a beautiful moment of joy and happiness from him when listening to Twin Fantasy warmed my heart so much in ways that words can't fully explain.

It was not uncommon for both of us to get in a call during the weekend, when it was mid-afternoon for me and late evening for him. It was like part of our Saturday and Sunday routine to engage in a conversation and talk about our lives. We were two different people (different races, different cultures, different political beliefs), but our bond was as strong as that of two brothers, a family.

I still remember the tragic turn of events that all started with a bright, sunny autumn day of Saturday September 22nd, 2018. Everything seemed to have been going well. I got back home, hopped online and waited for him to respond to a call on the other side. I waited through the rest of the day and tried again on Sunday. But he never responded back. This felt rather unusual, cause he always seemed to look forward to our conversations during the weekend.

I had remembered where we left off our previous conversation. I remembered that he told me he was feeling "a little under the weather" and appeared rather frail that day. He played a sweet little song for me on the guitar and we ended our call with one last goodbye. I decided to give him some room to breathe, not bother him and try again next week to reach out to him. Almost a month had passed, and I started getting terribly worried. Thoughts had raced across my mind and I had trouble sleeping at night.

It wasn't until one night, when I picked up a mysterious phone call from Tunisia, that I learnt the truth. The caller, who confirmed to be one of his closest friends, told me that he had been hiding one secret from me and didn't want me to be so worried. Since I known him, he had been in a long conflict with liver cancer and spent the past few months in an emergency room in a hospital close to his home. He wasn't going to be around for much longer.

My heart sank and I was devastated.

A few years back, I had left a promise that someday, I would travel to Tunisia and meet him in person, no matter where he would be, I'd be there to see him. He left me a picture of his front door street view and previous envelopes I received from him indicated the address so I knew where to go. With all the guilt under my shoulders and knowing that this would be my last chance to say goodbye one final time, I booked a flight to Tunisia right before Christmas.

I arrived to his address in Tunisia being greeted by the shocked and heartbroken face of a maid who was looking after the house. She took me to the nearby hospital and into the emergency room where my friend resided in. It was there that I found him, lying weak in bed, his wig laying still on the cold floor, barely able to move or speak. I laid a pile of roses by the table, near a corner where his guitar stood still as the sun shined through. Realizing all the stress that speaking was putting on him, we spent our last few days still and silent, only exchanging our emotions and thoughts through the raw expressions of our faces.

There I sat, right beside him, for days and days, until he was taken away to a part of the hospital that the public was not allowed to enter. For the last remaining days, I had sat quietly alone looking for a hope that would never come. Until one day, a group of doctors had carried him out on his hospital bed, a white sheet covering his head, to a resting place. It was there that I realized...

...He was gone.

When I flew back to Canada a couple of days after New Years, there was no room to celebrate the great holidays. I had my head down, no sense of direction of where I was heading and was buried in grief. Looking back at it almost a year later, a lot of these thoughts and feelings of grief still haunt my mind to this day, almost as much as it did back in January. I pretended to move on, but in reality, I never did. When you lose somebody you really cared about, it sticks with you the rest of your life. However, I can't say I haven't found ways to cope with it and to realize the beauty of even sharing the great memories and experiences with such a wonderful friend.

That's where a site like AOTY connects with me on a more personal level. I can still remember those last little moments in the faint, colorless hospital room, where I did something that I knew would warm my friend's music-loving heart: I showed him my AOTY profile. What was originally a profile I had started as a joke and a site I didn't take seriously became a long-lasting memory I dearly hold with me. I vividly remember holding my laptop screen in front of him using a finger to type up a review for Crab Rave: "My last rating of 2018, lol." That was the last time he ever smiled.

I'd like to think that as time passed, I've grown to become more dedicated with listening to music and posting reviews on here, putting a lot of effort into them in loving memory of a friend who still sits comfortably in the back of my mind. It's as if he'd never left and that his music-loving soul still lays deep within me. Wherever he is now, I'm sure he is in peace, and I have my hopes up high that I may meet him once again one day...

In times of tragedy, sadness and grief, albums like Twin Fantasy truly shine as a remarkably beautiful and emotionally impactful piece of art. The presentation of Twin Fantasy is something truly admirable and fantastic. Whether it's from its incredibly melodic indie rock/lo-fi instrumentation, the incredibly sentimental and bittersweet lyricism, the nicely-incorporated more energetic and lively moments, the themes of anxiety and loneliness, feeling like an outcast in a rather mysterious world difficult to comprehend, there's something this album offers on pretty much every corner. Putting myself into my friend's shoes, I can see what makes such an album so anthemic, inspirational and emotionally-touching. Even without the emotional element, the album is still sonically flavored and full of heart. While Twin Fantasy is not an all-time favorite of mine as with its occasionally rough, less immersive moments, there's no doubt Twin Fantasy is an album that strikes the heart and leaves an undeniable impact on its audience.

And with all that, I leave this post off with a few last words...

Goodbye. Can't wait to speak with you again...

tomorrow.

FAV TRACKS: Beach Life-in-Death, My Boy (Twin Fantasy), Sober To Death, Nervous Young Inhumans, High to Death, Famous Prophets (Stars), Twin Fantasy (Those Boys)

LEAST FAV TRACKS: Bodys (If I had to pick one)
18 Comments
4d ago
My condolences. You're a good friend.
4d ago
Man, this shit hit hard. I never thought AOTY would be the place where I see people at their most emotional or honest but I'm happy it is. Music has such an effect on us, and to be able to tell these stories through that effect is incredible to me.

I'll be thinking about your friend too.
4d ago
How do I heart a review 10 times?
4d ago
Holy shit. What a powerful story. So sorry for your loss dude.
4d ago
This made me cry, I really hope you're coping ok <3 we love you
4d ago
i hope you keep listening and talking. you won’t ever lose touch with your friend if you do that.

“dread grief trails bright phantoms in its wake”
4d ago
Just incredible man ❤
4d ago
this was an incredible review, i am so sorry.
4d ago
hey man hope you’re coping well. I know what it’s like to lose someone close, powerful review
3d ago
<3
2d ago
What an absolutely heartbreaking story. It takes a lot to put yourself out there in such a vulnerable way, but there are many people on here who definitely appreciate your awesome reviews. You seem like an incredibly wonderful friend and my deepest condolences are with you and I am so sorry for your loss.
2d ago
To open one's heart for the "rest of us to see" is not only courageous because it avails the "rest of us" to self-examine in order to discover our own empathy and compassion. The numerous replies that followed your sharing support this thought. Now, let me return to re-read your post. Be well.
2d ago
This is some powerful shit! Sorry for your loss, dude. I kinda know what it's like. :(
2d ago
Jesus fucking Christ where did these tears come from?
For real tho, I know you've heard this a lot, but I hope you are doing well. He sounds like a great dude while he was here, and he got the best friend anyone could ask for.
Here's to another 1000.
1d ago
Thank you everyone. ❤
1d ago
damn it seems i’ve been dethroned...

well deserved, love to you and your friend forever

(i’ll be coming back for it later though >:) )
6h ago
Damn this review just tore me apart at 2 in the morning
4h ago
holy shit
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