Have You Heard This (Yet)? Car Seat Headrest + Pile

Have You Heard This (Yet)?

This is my version of "Album of the Week." 

However, I am really going to try to present two albums. One that is NEW (as in just released) and one that is NEW to me (as in I heard it for the first time this week but it is not NEW).

This is not a review as much as an endorsement, in other words, listen to the albums (if you trust my taste). Obviously, one of the biggest projects of this blog is trying to build an audience for independent artists and labels. 

In other words, at least help generate these artists a few fractions of a penny by listening to the stream of the albums if you can - Just Hit Play!

New: Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial

Was a pretty big fan of the last album, "Teens of Style," but this album has a much more coherent sound and vision. Many of the songs start in a pretty conventional place but end up somewhere I really enjoyed. I would say it is about 85% great and I found myself almost subconsciously getting more and more into it as the songs rolled along. 

In all honesty, "Teens of Denial" is a pretty big jump from "Teens of Style" (and I liked Teens of Style). I hear some Pavement and Sonic Youth influence in the mix, which is obviously good. Some moments are rocking (Fill in The Blank) while others are beautiful, epic, and rocking (The Ballad of the Costa Concordia).

But it is not just the music (which is great) it is also the lyrics, these are from the song "Just What I Needed/Not What I Needed" (A partial homage to The Cars derailed by Ric Ocasic):

I've been waiting all my life

I have been waiting for some real good porn

Something with meaning, something fulfilling

I'd like to make my shame count for something

I feel so empty trying to explain this...

That isn't a throwaway cute funny set of lines about male shame, that is scary-honest and thoughtful, and surprising stuff. The entire album is full of moments like that. Moments where you want to go back and make sure you heard what you think you heard the first time. The best music demands you listen again and again. The best music is dialogic, the singer says something that challenges how you think about something that affects you. It requires you to confront your dissonance.

On every level, this is a really great album. I listen to new albums every day and even the ones I really enjoy might get played three or four times, "Teens of Denial" has been on "heavy rotation" since yesterday morning.

Plus, the songwriter is Will Toledo + Toledo is in Ohio + Ohio was the home of Devo and Pere Ubu, no (Akron, 140 miles)? Okay, that was silly. 

This is apparently Car Seat Headrest's first full album on Matador Records.

New to Me: Pile - Dripping

I like this band Chavez (coincidentally also on Matador) that never really made it, but have consistently made really good loud feedback filled and cathartic music (I LOVE Gone Glimmering). As I was tooling around all the different sites and services that I visit to hear new music, I tripped over the song "Baby Boy" by Pile (on my Thursday #Spotify playlist) and it reminded me a TON of Chavez. Some of my all-time favorite bands combine crafty melodies with feedback, noise, and honest disaffection.

Anyway, it has a 90's grunge feel to me, not the Pearl Jam side...like Melvins with more pure hooks. As I said on my Bleach all-time albums piece, I like grunge to sound like Guinness tastes.

Anyway, here is "Dripping" by Pile (which was new to me this week).

What did you think of Car Seat Headrest + Pile? How do you like the new feature? Let me know if you like the bands, leave a comment!