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CAR SEAT HEADREST

Car Seat Headrest

Making A Door Less Open

    Created over the course of four years, Making a Door Less Open is the result of a fruitful “collaboration” between Car Seat Headrest, led by Will Toledo, and 1 Trait Danger, a CSH electronic side project consisting of drummer Andrew Katz and Toledo’s alternative persona, “Trait.” To realize this, the band recorded the album twice: once live with guitars, drums and bass, and once in a MIDI environment using purely synthesized sounds. During the mixing process, the two approaches were gradually combined using elements of each, with additional overdubs.

    In this way, Making A Door Less Open sees Toledo embarking on new and imaginative roads to songwriting and recording, placing emphasis on the individual songs, each with its own “special energy,” rather than attempting to draw a coherent storyteller narrative through the album as he has in the past , resulting in his most dynamic and open-ended work to date.

    Comprised of Will Toledo, Andrew Katz (drums), Ethan Ives (guitar) and Seth Dalby (bass), Car Seat Headrest has either released 11 or three albums to date, depending on the way you look at it. A prolific songwriter, Toledo took his moniker from making early recordings in the private environment of his family’s car, releasing a dozen self-recorded and produced albums on Bandcamp and building a tight-knit following. Toledo has since gone from an empty five-seater to selling out tours and filling festival main stages. 2015’s Teens of Style was a collection of songs from his early years. The band’s proper Matador debut, Teens of Denial, followed in 2016 and catapulted them to overnight commercial success and widespread critical acclaim, as well as highlighting Toledo as a prodigious lyricist. 2018’s Twin Fantasy, an epic re-imagination of an album originally released in 2011, demonstrated newfound scale, depth and ambition.

    TRACK LISTING

    Vinyl
    Weightlifters
    Can’t Cool Me Down
    Hollywood
    There Must Be More Than Blood
    Hymn
    Deadlines
    Martin
    What’s With You Lately
    Life Worth Missing
    Famous

    CD
    Weightlifters
    Can’t Cool Me Down
    Hollywood
    Martin
    Hymn (Remix)
    There Must Be More Than Blood
    Deadlines
    What’s With You Lately
    Life Worth Missing
    Famous
    Deadlines (Alternate Acoustic)
    Hollywood (Acoustic)

    Will Toledo always knew he would return to Twin Fantasy. He never did complete the work. Not really. Never could square his grand ambitions against his mechanical limitations. Listen to his first attempt, recorded at nineteen on a cheap laptop, and you’ll hear what Brian Eno fondly calls “the sound of failure” - thrilling, extraordinary, and singularly compelling failure. Will’s first love, rendered in the vivid teenage viscera of stolen gin, bruised shins, and weird sex, was an event too momentous for the medium assigned to record it.

    On the heels of the smashing success of Teens of Denial, Car Seat Headrest will release a new version of Twin Fantasy. “It was never a finished work,” Will says, “and it wasn’t until last year that I figured out how to finish it.” He has, now, the benefit of a bigger budget, a full band in fine form, and endless time to tinker. According to him, it took eight months of mixing just to get the drums right. But this is no shallow second take, sanitized in studio and scrubbed of feeling. This is the album he always wanted to make. It sounds the way he always wanted it to sound.

    It’s been hard, stepping into the shoes of his teenage self, walking back to painful places. There are lyrics he wouldn’t write again, an especially sad song he regards as an albatross. But even as he carries the weight of that younger, wounded Will, he moves forward. He grows. He revises, gently, the songs we love so much. In the album’s final moments, in those apologies to future me’s and you’s, there is more forgiveness than fury.

    This, Will says, is the most vital difference between the old and the new: he no longer sees his own story as a tragedy.

    TRACK LISTING

    2CD TRACKLISTING
    CD1 (TWIN FANTASY)
    My Boy (Twin Fantasy)
    Beach Life-In-Death
    Stop Smoking (We Love You)
    Sober To Death
    Nervous Young Inhumans
    Bodys
    Cute Thing
    High To Death
    Famous Prophets (Stars)
    Twin Fantasy (Those Boys)

    CD2 (TWIN FANTASY - MIRROR TO MIRROR)
    My Boy (Twin Fantasy)
    Beach Life-In-Death
    Stop Smoking
    Sober To Death
    Nervous Young Inhumans
    Bodys
    Cute Thing
    High To Death
    Famous Prophets (Minds)
    Twin Fantasy (Those Boys)

    2LP TRACKLISTING
    My Boy (Twin Fantasy)
    Beach Life-In-Death
    Stop Smoking (We Love You)
    Sober To Death
    Nervous Young Inhumans
    Bodys
    Cute Thing
    High To Death
    Famous Prophets (Stars)
    Twin Fantasy (Those Boys)

    Teens of Denial is the thirteenth album in Car Seat Headrest’s (aka 23-year-old Will Toledo) oeuvre, second on Matador, and first to be recorded in a proper studio with a full band and producer (Steve Fisk).

    On Denial, Toledo moves from bedroom pop to something approaching classic-rock grandeur and huge (if detailed and personal) narrative ambitions, with nods to the Cars, Pavement, Jonathan Richman, Wire, and William Onyeabor. By turns tender and caustic, empathetic and solipsistic, literary and vernacular, profound and profane, self-loathing and self-aggrandizing, he conjures a specifically 21st century mindset, a product of information overload, the loneliness it can foster, and the escape music can provide.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Boisterous and catchy college-rock anthems with a nod to melancholic folk, skate-punk and everything in between. Teens of Denial is a further expansion of singer-songwriter Will Toledo's already extensive back catalogue. Exciting and heartfelt, and another fantastic outing for Car Seat Headrest.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Fill In The Blank
    2. Vincent
    3. Destroyed By Hippie Powers
    4. (Joe Gets Kicked Out Of School For Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn't A Problem)
    5. Just What I Needed/Not Just What I Needed
    6. Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales
    7. 1937 State Park
    8. Unforgiving Girl (She's Not An)
    9. Cosmic Hero
    10. The Ballad Of The Costa Concordia
    11. Connect The Dots (The Saga Of Frank Sinatra)
    12. Joe Goes To School 


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