Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) by Car Seat Headrest
Here we are at the top 3! This year was, as has happened in a few years past, difficult to pin down. But when this has happened in the past, it’s been a matter of “nothing is jumping out at me as a strong #1.” This year is different, in that there were so many phenomenal albums by bands that I love, they could all have qualified as #1 for the year. But countdown lists can’t have ties, especially not at the top, so here we are at very strong #3 with Car Seat Headrest.
You may remember Car Seat Headrest from their last album, Teens of Denial, which hit #7 in 2016. Hailing from Seattle, the band’s lead singer/songwriter Will Toledo is a wordsmith of the highest order. Writing very close to his heart, Toledo spins tales of typical rock & roll fare — love, loss, family — but with a reality seldom encountered in today’s songs.
Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) is not 100% new material for the band — it’s actually a complete re-recording and reworking of an album Toledo put out in 2011, five albums ago. I have not heard the original Twin Fantasy, but given this is a re-recording and reworking of that album, I’ll feel safe not calling it a rerelease (and thereby disqualifying it from Top 31 contention).
There are so many great songs on this album, but unfortunately only one video, for the song “Nervous Young Inhumans,” featured above. I implore you to listen to my favorite track from the album, “Bodys,” a song I’ve bounced around to in my living room with my daughter in my arms many many times. There’s a lot of repetition of lyrics on the album, to the point where the sentiment of the line (such as “Stop smoking, we love you”) takes on new and deeper meaning. It’s quite effective at drawing out emotion and connection, but I can’t quite put my finger on why.
I had the pleasure of seeing Car Seat Headrest for the first time last year, and it was well worth the wait. My god, this band can rock. Teens of Denial was a great album on its own, but Twin Fantasy is a whole other level. Check it out ASAP.
4. Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe
5. The Horizon Just Laughed by Damien Jurado
6. Chris by Christine and the Queens
7. Wanderer by Cat Power
8. Tell Me How You Really Feel by Courtney Barnett
9. The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs by Wye Oak
10. Ruins by First Aid Kit
11. Cocoa Sugar by Young Fathers
12. Loner by Caroline Rose
13. Big Red Machine by Big Red Machine
14. I’ll Be Your Girl by The Decemberists
15. The More I Sleep the Less I Dream by We Were Promised Jetpacks
16. Joy as an Act of Resistance by IDLES
17. Hell-On by Neko Case
18. Superorganism by Superorganism
19. Living in Extraordinary Times by James
20. Thank You for Today by Death Cab for Cutie
21. Black Panther: The Album by Kendrick Lamar
22. Suspiria (Music for the Luca Guadagnino Film) by Thom Yorke
23. Merrie Land by The Good, the Bad & the Queen
24. Room 25 by Noname
25. WARM by Jeff Tweedy
26. God's Favorite Customer by Father John Misty
27. Vessel by Frankie Cosmos
28. For Ever by Jungle
29. Twerp Verse by Speedy Ortiz
30. Remain in Light by Angélique Kidjo
31. This One’s for the Dancer & This One’s for the Dancer’s Bouquet by Moonface