Of Car Seat Headrest's pre-Matador college era, Disjecta Membra is one of the more obscure compilations: a cryptid album that has long since vanished from Will Toledo's now famous Bandcamp page. Originally a bonus download on 2013’s Nervous Young Man, the 17-track album now exists only in the ether, an Easter egg that fans can only find on YouTube and Mediafire.
In typical early-CSH style, the guitar, drums, vocals, bass, and production are all Toledo's own work, bringing a familiar wash of low-fi sound to fans eager for more material. He's described the tracks on this album as B-sides, and evidently doesn't think highly enough of them to publish them anywhere on his official pages (Google defines disjecta membra as "scattered fragments, especially of written work"). But fans of Twin Fantasy, Monomania, and Nervous Young Man will recognize this album from its iconic style of songwriting and endearingly low-fidelity production.
Showcasing his English major chops in his lyrics, Toledo touches on themes of self-deprecation, substance use and abuse, and relationship struggles, all in the unique voice that fans have clung to in his rise to fame. As well, he's crafted individual songs about everything from envisioning the career of a sound technician (“Sound Man/Low Fidelity”) to getting a rock thrown at him (“2:24”). The fifteenth track is a cover of Leonard Cohen' s "Memories" in which Will has changed the lyrics in order to form the songwriting great's classic tune into a new story, one that fits his own narrative.
This album is not the only "disjecta membra" compliation that Toledo has in his repertoire: 2014's highly acclaimed How to Leave Town was also described by the singer-songwriter as having sprung out of B-sides for Teens of Denial, centered around the final track “Hey Space Cadet”. Going even further back into the archive, Little Pieces of Paper with 'No' Written On Them is self-described as "B-SIDES AND RARITIES AND GENERALLY JUST AWFUL SH*T".
The listener can be the judge of that.
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