Locals Only Artist of the Month: Car Seat Headrest

Car Seat Headrest
Today, May 1st, marks the release of the latest album from Car Seat Headrest. The new album is titled Making A Door Less Open and after listening to it all the way through no fewer than 16 times today, I can say with a great deal of certainty that it is amazing

Seriously. It is somehow a perfect mix of all the things you might love from past Car Seat Headrest albums and some wild new stuff that they are doing for the first time. In light of this fantastic new album it seems like a pretty good time to make Car Seat Headrest our Locals Only Artist Of The Month of May. 

For the whole month of May you'll be hearing the track "Hollywood" from Car Seat Headrest on The End.

Learn more about the new album, Making A Door Less Open from Car Seat Headrest frontman Will Toledo below:
This album was made from January 2015 to December 2019, starting as acollection of vagueideas thateventually turned into songs. I wanted to make something that was different from my previousrecords, and I struggled to figure out how to do that. I realized that because the way I listened tomusic had changed, I had to change the way I wrotemusic, as well. I was listening less and less toalbums and more and more to individual songs, songs from all over the place, every few days findinga new one that seemed to have a special energy. I thought that if I could make an album full ofsongs thathad a special energy, each one unique and different in its vision, then that would be a good thing.
Andrew, Ethan, Seth and I started going into the studio to record songs that had more finishedstructures and jam on ideas that didn’t. Then I would mess with the recordings until I could see myway to a song. Most of the time on this album was spent shuttling between my house and Andrew’s,who did a lot of the mixing on this. He comes from an EDM school of mixing, so we built up sample-heavy beat-driven songs that could work to both of our strengths.
Each track is the result of an intense battle to bring out its natural colors and transform it into acomplete work. The songs contain elements of EDM, hip hop, futurism, doo-wop, soul, and of course rock and roll. But underneath all these things I think these may be folk songs, because they can beplayed and sung in many different ways, and they’re about things that are important to a lot ofpeople: anger with society, sickness, loneliness, love...the way thisalbum plays out is just our owninterpretation of the tracks, with Andrew, Ethan and I forming a sort of choir of contrasting natures.I think my main hope for the world of music is that it will continue to grow bytaking from the past,with a consciousness of what still works now. Exciting moments in music always form at acrossroads-a new genre emerges from the pieces of existing ones, an artist strips down a forgottenstructure and makes something alien and novel. If there is a new genre emergent in our times, it hasnot yet been named and identified, but its threads come from new ways of listening to all types ofmusic, of new methods of creating music at an unprecedented level of affordability and personalfreedom, of new audiences rising up through the internet to embrace works that would otherwise belost, and above all from the people whose love of music drives them to create it in the best form theypossibly can. Hopefully it will remain nameless for some time, so it can be experienced with thatsame newness and strangeness that accompanies anyand all meaningful encounters with music.Bob Dylan said, “if someone’s wearing a mask, he’sgonna tell you the truth...if he’s not wearing a mask, it’shighly unlikely.” He never actually wore a mask onstageso I don’t know why he said that. But I decided to startwearing a mask for a couple of reasons. One, I still getnervous being onstage with everybody looking at me. Ifeveryone is looking at the mask instead, thenit feels likewe’re all looking at the same thing, and that is morehonest to me. Two, music should be about enjoyingyourself, especially live music, and I think of this costumeas a way to remind myself and everyone else to havesome fun with it. I don’t think it changes anything elseabout the songs or how you feel about them to be able todrop it for a second and have fun with it. If you can’t dothat then you’re in a bad place...
The character comes from another project Andrew and I have been workingon called 1 TRAITDANGER. This is something Andrew started doing on tour—recording ideas for his own songs asthey came to him, and forcibly enlisting everyone else to participate. It appealed to me because itwas nothing like Car Seat Headrest, and the ideas cracked me up. Before we knew it we had twoalbums released, a videogame that was almost impossible to beat, and a growing number of peoplewho seemed to be enjoying it all. It’s been a great outlet for weird and untenable musicalexperiments, and the live performances have been a blast. I play a character called TRAIT, andwe’ve been working out the backstory as we go. I think he spent a lot of time in classifiedgovernment facilities before getting into the music business.This is the kind of stuff that kept us going while we were working onMADLO. We were in our ownlittle world and free to try any idea we wanted. A lot of the ideas for 1 Trait bled over to the Car Seattracks, and vice versa. You just can’t make music without first creating your own environment aroundit...sound’s always gotta travel through something. This time it was a mask.—trait