Tag Archives: Car Seat Headrest

On “Midnight,” Stef Chura Gets Loose

Stef Chura has been hosting karaoke two to three times a week for four years. She considers herself a veteran. “I need to know my hours,” she says. “Do I have 10,000 hours? Am I a real professional yet?” It’s a funny question for a professional touring musician with a record contract to ask herself. 

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The Best Albums of 2018: #40 – 21

best of 2018 40-21Let’s be honest for a second: No one clicks on these lists for the introduction. I don’t blame them! This is usually just the place where some routine throat-clearing goes, before we get to the main event. It’s also the place where I confess to the amount of anxiety involved with putting together a list like this—last year, I said, “Right now, there’s probably someone in their bedroom in Buenos Aires, making a record on their computer that is going to end up on next year’s list. So as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this list, we realize that, even at 100 albums, we’re only scratching the surface of what’s available.” Guess what? That’s still true in 2018. That said, the albums that made the cut, to us, represent the breadth and scope of the many worlds available to discover on Bandcamp, and feel like the best musical summation of the last 12 months. When we make this list, we’re not only trying to assess the year’s best music, we’re also trying to tell the story of 2018, album by album, song by song. As always, being a part of Bandcamp Daily in 2018 was a true joy; we took a look at Extratone, the world’s fastest musical genre, got familiar with the New Face of Death Metal, and spent time with artists like Yugen Blakrok, Suzanne Ciani, and Kamaal Williams. Once again, the world of music is bigger than any one list can possibly contain, so consider this a starting point on the neverending journey to discovering new sounds, new scenes, and new voices. Alright, that’s enough throat-clearing. Let’s get to the list.

—J. Edward Keyes, Editorial Director

Best of 2018 Schedule:
December 10: #100 – 81
December 11: #80 – 61
December 12: #60 – 41
December 13: #40 – 21
December 14: #20 – 1

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Album of the Day: Car Seat Headrest, “Twin Fantasy”

Carseat Headrest

In 2011 Car Seat Headrest, who were at the time essentially just Will Toledo, released an album called Twin Fantasy—one of dozens he’d uploaded to Bandcamp over the course of a year. It was a sprawling meditation on failed romance that hinted at artistic ambition beyond its maker’s years and budget. In 2018 Car Seat Headrest, now a bona fide band, are also releasing an album called Twin Fantasy, a re-recording of that 2011 LP that fleshes out the crude sketchings of the original into something ornate, enveloping, exhilarating, and dizzyingly complex. It is not only the best album in Toledo’s catalog, it is one of the young year’s best rock albums, period.

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This Week’s Essential Releases: Afro Disco, Dark Synth, Psych, and More

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Welcome to Seven Essential Releases, our weekly roundup of the best music on Bandcamp. Each week, we’ll recommend six new albums that were released in the last seven days, plus pick an older LP from the stacks that you may have missed.

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Album of the Day: Cloud Nothings, “Life Without Sound”

Like fellow fuzz-pop contemporary Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest, Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi shares a fondness for the contemplative solitude of an automobile. “A thing I like to do with all my records is drive around with them,” says the 25-year-old Cleveland native in the album notes for his new record. It’s fitting because Baldi has always traded in propulsive, pound-the-steering wheel aggression. His early basement efforts were lo-fi and abrasive, the sound of an 18-year-old bursting with creativity, with no other way to channel his pent-up frustrations. Those impulses led to records (particularly 2012’s breakout Attack on Memory) that announced Baldi’s raw talent and his natural feel for punk-inspired power pop, but that were ultimately buried under too much chaotic noise and dissonance. There was the feeling that eventually, as he matured he would harness that energy into something more cohesive and his anarchic tendencies would fade into an embracement of pop.

Life Without Sound, Baldi’s fourth full-length, is his best yet; A lean, major chord rave-up for those who grew up on Archers of Loaf, Superchunk and Ted Leo. Baldi has completely abandoned any interest in feedback squall, opting for nine tight songs that never wander off the sonic path. Vocally, Baldi pushes himself, his punk rasp exploring different registers and harmonies. There’s a true band dynamic at work, as drummer Jayson Gerycz and bassist TJ Duke give standout tracks “Modern Act” and “Internal World” a groove and pounding backbeat. The record’s secret ingredient may be producer John Goodmanson (Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie), who’s polished off some of Baldi’s rough edges—but not all—for a sonically crisp effort. The entire record is big, loud and immediate, the sound of a young man growing up without growing old.

Drew Fortune

The Best Albums of 2016: #80 – 61

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If there’s one thing we learned since we launched Bandcamp Daily this past June, it’s that the world of Bandcamp is enormous—encompassing everything from emo in China to cumbia punk in Tucson, Arizona to just about everything in between. So narrowing our Best Albums of the Year down to 100 choices was a daunting task. This week, we’ll be sharing our picks, 20 at a time, until we arrive at the top spot on Friday.

More “Best of 2016”:
The Best Albums of 2016: #100-81
The Best Albums of 2016: #60 – 41
The Best Albums of 2016: #40 – 21
The Best Albums of 2016: #20-1

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The Best Albums of 2016 So Far

best of 2016 so far

  A one-stop guide for catching up on the best releases of 2016 to date.

Every year brings with it more music than any one person can possibly consume. Even if you stopped sleeping and eating and did nothing but listen to music all day, every day, you’d only be able to get through roughly 13,000 albums in a year. Given that, we’ve decided to make your search for your next favorite record a little easier. These are the records released so far this year that we just can’t stop playing.

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