One normally wouldn't associate the creators of one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘Top 50 Albums of the Year,’ with a guy who makes music in his car. Yet this is exactly what Car Seat Headrest, a lo-fi indie rock ensemble created by Will Toledo in Leesburg, Virginia, appear to be. Too ashamed to record music in his house for fear of his parents hearing, he took to the solace of his own car to perform and record songs. Hence the name. Since then, it has been a rapid rise to success for the band.

The past three years have been a whirlwind for the group. After signing with Matador Records in 2015, they recorded their first album, ‘Teens of Denial,’ in 2016, a record which stakes a large claim to being the instigator of much of the band’s success. Thus followed touring across the globe, not to mention finding time to record another album, Teens of Style, in 2018. I had the pleasure of viewing the culmination of all this hard work when they performed at Kentish Town in London, as well as speaking to lead guitarist Ethan Ives.

On November 8th, 2018, several thousand people packed into a small but lively venue in North London. After some initial uncertainty involving a late venue change, the atmosphere was particularly anticipatory. After an hour and a half delay, tension was building. Nevertheless, at last Toldeo and co. waltzed on stage. As guitars blared and Toledo’s distinctively pitchy and awkward voice rung out across the arena, the band took its audience through a mixture of songs from both of its most recent albums. With David Brusie of The A.V. Club referring to the repeated "exercise in tension and release" that occurs throughout much of the band’s songs, the audience was treated to an array of hits, such as the well known ‘Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales,’ many of which relate to themes of teenage youth, drugs and depression. All anxiety was immediately forgotten.

After an hour and a half for bedlam had commenced and people were filtering out of the venue for some fresh air, I had the chance to converse with the band’s lead guitarist, Ethan Ives. Having asked him what his favourite song to perform was, he mentioned ‘Vincent,‘ a seven minute anthem filled with edgy guitars and cutting vocals. ‘I think Vincent was good as we don't get to perform it very often,’ Ives said. ‘It isn't part of our normal set list so when we decided to do it on the night it was good to have a bit of variation.’ Having brought its talents to the UK, Car Seat Headrest are now completing the rest of their tour in the States, with upcoming performances in Seattle, Boston and New York.