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REVIEW: Car Seat Headrest - Making a Door Less Open

Updated: Jan 30, 2022


Favorite Track: Hollywood Least Favorite Track: Hymn - Remix

Infamous indie singer/songwriter Will Toledo’s brain child, Car Seat Headrest, is a project that up until recently I was quite unfamiliar with. The song “Fill in the Blank” from their 2016 release, Teens of Denial, has always been a song I loved, but apart from a few one-offs, the only thing I knew about CSH is that their music tends to follow a trend. Whatever place Toledo was in whilst making the record you are listening to is heavily apparent. He has made a name for himself with interesting choices such as remaking one of his old albums, not to mention having a sound that is distinctly him. This is easily viewable on the newest release from CSH, Making A Door Less Open, but this album seems to take a new direction for Toledo and company. There are tons of things that are new to the CSH sound on this album, whether it be the super busy and piercing synths all over this record, or the trap style hi-hats that you find on some of the songs, used to fill sonic space. When searching for words to describe what this album sounded like sonically, I couldn’t seem to think of anything other than “huge”. This album has visceral guitars and synths layered everywhere, Toledo’s voice is unrelenting and raw, and at no point during this record do you really get the chance to fully rest. This album comes at you like a freight train of emotion, with lines about depression, schizophrenia, sickness, and death all over. All of these themes feel very typical of Toledo, but I have to applaud him for making these topics that everyone has heard discussed a million times refreshing and new. CSH tackles so many sounds on this record that you never would have expected, some of the tracks sounding like something off of a Nine Inch Nails record, and they pull it off with flying colors. With a left turn like this, I think CSH has shown that not only are they capable of versatility, but they can make their music accessible to everyone. Sometimes to progress as an artist, you have to do exactly what CSH has done here, and make the door to your past less open.

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