Car Seat Headrest have grown up a lot in the last few years. Their new album, Making A Door Less Open, is a testament to that. It reaches depths previously unseen—inspired, according to Will Toledo, by the genre-transcendent nature of living in the internet age. The new album is a masterclass in mixing influences seamlessly. Can a song be folk and punk? Toledo thinks so.
The songs range in wildly in tone, but they share a quality that can only be described as earthy in that they relish in imperfections and idiosyncrasies. Sometimes it feels like an old-fashioned rock and roll album, harkening to an era gone by, but it ultimately always comes back to a motif of gratitude for the present. It’s not perfect, but neither are its creators, and they shouldn’t be. Whether lost in a valley of depression, as implied in ‘What’s With You Lately’ or gnashing teeth over everything to hate about LA in ‘Hollywood’, this record gently thanks itself for its flaws, because flaws are what make every one of us living, breathing people. This album is a welcome flush of human warmth in a world that feels increasingly cold, optimised, and lonely.
The standout song has to be ‘Life Worth Missing’. Electronic and acoustic beats intermingle, creating a bouncing tune that evokes all the best parts of the 2000s so far. It sounds like a trusted friend holding out their hand to lead listeners towards the unfurling future, both scared, but at least together through it all.