Car Seat Headrest – “Times To Die”

“All of my friends are getting married, all my friends are right with God/ All of my friends are making money, but art gets what it wants and art gets what it deserves.” Those lines have been rattling around in my head for months now — they kick off “Times To Die,” a sprightly 7-minute cut that first showed up on Car Seat Headrest’s 2012 album Monomania and reappears on his upcoming Matador debut Teens Of Style. They succinctly demonstrate how deftly Will Toledo negotiates between what the world expects of him versus what he expects of himself; it lays out a complicated relationship with faith and fatalism that plays out through the rest of the song.

“Times To Die” is the best example on Style of the sprawling epics that Toledo previously made his name on — it goes through three distinct movements, all circling around the same idea and coming back with slightly different results. The first half solidifies the hook, the middle uses Biblical allusions to Job as a means of self-evaluation — feeling persecuted but not bothering to find out the root cause (probably yourself) or doing anything about it — and the back half ties everything together with an ecclesiastical ending that shouts out Matador founder Chris Lombardi and questions whether life means anything at all. Listen below, and check out our recent Band To Watch feature on Toledo and crew.

Teens Of Style is out 10/30 via Matador Records.