Car Seat Headrest – “Can’t Cool Me Down”

Car Seat Headrest has long had its acolytes, but Will Toledo’s project really took off upon the release of 2016’s Teens Of Denial. Beyond being one of the best albums of the decade, it represented a whole new level of Toledo’s songwriting and arranging after years of churning out music online. Since then, Toledo re-recorded his 2011 collection Twin Fantasy as a proper, full-fledged studio album, but we have yet to get a true followup to Teens Of Denial, another Car Seat Headrest album of brand new material. That’s about to change.

In May, Car Seat Headrest will return with a new album called Making A Door Less Open. It actually dates all the way back to late 2015, and was made intermittently over the course of the subsequent four years. Arising from Toledo’s attempts to change up how he was writing, Making A Door Less Open was heavily influenced by electronic experiments with CSH drummer Andrew Katz under the name 1 TRAIT DANGER. (The project began as an outlet for Katz’s ideas in real time, but has mutated, including Toledo taking on a character named Trait.) The group wound up recording the album twice, once as a live band and once entirely with MIDI. The final result blends pieces of the two recordings.

Here’s what Toledo had to say about the album:

Each track is the result of an intense battle to bring out its natural colors and transform it into a complete 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 be played and sung in many different ways, and they’re about things that are important to a lot of people: anger with society, sickness, loneliness, love… the way this album plays out is just our own interpretation of the tracks, with Andrew, Ethan and I forming a sort of choir of contrasting natures.

Along with the announcement, Car Seat Headrest have shared the album’s lead single “Can’t Cool Me Down.” It’s been played live before, but it also seems to offer a glimpse at the different sonic territory of Making A Door Less Open. Driven by synths and weird vocal manipulations, “Can’t Cool Me Down” certainly seeks some new aesthetics for Car Seat Headrest, especially if you think of this album as the official followup to Teens Of Denial. Check it out below.

VINYL TRACKLIST:

01 “Weightlifters”
02 “Can’t Cool Me Down”
03 “Hollywood”
04 “There Must Be More Than Blood”
05 “Hymn”
06 “Deadlines”
07 “Martin”
08 “What’s With You Lately”
09 “Life Worth Missing”
10 “Famous”

CD TRACKLIST:

01 “Weightlifters”
02 “Can’t Cool Me Down”
03 “Hollywood”
04 “Martin”
05 “Hymn (Remix)”
06 “There Must Be More Than Blood”
07 “Deadlines”
08 “What’s With You Lately”
09 “Life Worth Missing”
10 “Famous”
11 “Deadlines (Alternate Acoustic)” [Bonus Track]
12 “Hollywood (Acoustic)” [Bonus Track]

TOUR DATES:

04/25 — North Adams, MA @ MASS MoCA
05/27 — St. Paul, MN @ Palace Theatre
05/28 — Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theatre
05/29 — Chicago, IL @ The Vic
05/30 — Chicago, IL @ The Vic
06/02 — Detroit, MI @ The Majestic
06/03 — Toronto, ON @ Danforth
06/04 — Toronto, ON @ Danforth
06/06 — Boston, MA @ House of Blues
06/07 — Portland, ME @ State Theatre
06/09 — New York, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
06/10 — New York, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
06/11 — New York, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
06/13 — Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Music Hall
06/14 — Washington, D.C. @ Anthem
06/16 — Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
06/17 — Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
06/18 — Columbia, SC @ The Senate
06/19 — Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
06/20 — Nashville, TN @ Brooklyn Bowl
07/09 — Vancouver, BC @ The Commodore
07/10 — Vancouver, BC @ The Commodore
07/11 — Seattle, WA @ Paramount
07/12 — Portland, OR @ Roseland
07/14 — San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
07/17 — San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park
07/18 — Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
07/19 — Phoenix, AZ @ Van Buren
07/22 — Austin, TX @ Stubb’s
07/23 — Houston, TX @ White Oak
07/24 — Dallax, TX @ Granada
07/25 — Oklahoma City, OK @ The Tower
07/26 — Kansas City, KS @ The Crossroads
07/28 — Denver, CO @ The Ogden

CREDIT: Carlos Cruz

Making A Door Less Open is out 5/1 via Matador. Pre-order it here.