Album Notes - Car Seat Headrest - Making a Door Less Open

Album Notes - Car Seat Headrest - Making a Door Less Open

May 11, 2020

For those that don't keep abreast of all that is deemed worthy in the indie community by they who regard themselves as gatekeepers of such sacred knowledge, it might be easy to question why one feels like the only person who doesn't "get" any given band that seemingly every scribe loves. Such was my perspective the past five or so years on a guy who has been prolifically pumping out music and repackaging it for the last decade, much to the delight of those countless individuals throughout his fandom. I was just never that into it. Until now.

Despite having one of the worst names in the history of things being named, Car Seat Headrest has been an indie darling for quite some time, and I can't argue with the fact that Will Toledo knows how to write a song. But while "interesting" has always been an apt description of his music, it's rarely beckoned subsequent listenings on my end, except to confirm previous suspicions. That said, nothing has piqued my curiosity and proven more enticing than his latest, Making a Door Less Open.

I've long appreciated Toledo's willingness to experiment and tinker, but his May 1 release feels like the culmination of aspiration matching realization. Not only is Making a Door Less Open far more polished than previous efforts, it's more diverse and adventurous. Toledo continues to do things his own way, and here that not only applies to the actual music, but the album's release itself. Making a Door Less Open is available in three distinct versions depending on format: CD, digital, and vinyl. Track sequencing, mixes, and occasionally even recordings noticeably differ, each offering a modified listening experience. Having only heard the digital and vinyl versions, I much prefer the latter, somehow more alluring in its track order and conciseness. 

If longtime Toledo admirers aren't feeling this one, I get it. Car Seat Headrest is no longer the Bandcamp open secret. This is music seeking a wider audience, and good for him. I may not be of like mind on his prior work with longtime devotees, but he's certainly earned everything he's achieved. As the music expands, so will the audience. Keep that door open for at least one more fan.