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Making a Door Less Open

by Car Seat Headrest

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Back when I had time to dream I dreamed of ordinary faces Frozen unexpressed emotions Trapped inside the wax museum And what my mind had been curating Scandalized my sense of station Face burned red then I woke up feeling like shit When I saw my ordinary face I should start lifting weights... Put your heart on the target They expect you to scream Music blasts through the market It’s the sound of the machines Of quarters crushed into pennies Of one thought turned into many My resistance is crushed I’m just here to buy some tangerines And maybe grapes without seeds Cause I believe That thoughts can change my body It’s all on me If thoughts can change your body I believe Thoughts can change my body It dawned on me Your body can change your mind And maybe if I keep my mouth shut God will answer all my prayers let my secret visions sprawl declassified and mine to share then I’d put my arms around you And say “Thank God that I found you “I kept my mouth shut and hoped that this would happen to me…” I see the patterns in things I never knew this was a part of me A wolf sings in the choir I feel the tension I’m afraid it will break I should start lifting weights Cause I believe That thoughts can change my body It’s all on me If thoughts can change your body I believe Thoughts can change my body It dawned on me Your body can change your mind
Schizophrenia dreaming I got a real bad feeling With a taste like lemon Having trouble breathing Getting high on nothing Taking credit for nothing Inside my head is an empty head Introducing friends to friends There is a hole in the ceiling Everything but me and it has got no feeling Smoke is pouring out the bed I crawl like an animal to you It’s a time of need and I need you to help me Please (I crawl I crawl an animal to you) Cool water on my brow can’t cool me down Vivid visions it’s been so long since I Heard your voice and felt you feeling for me Camille Raquin at the mortuary I like Chopin won’t you sing me to sleep No don’t Daniel you think you see a light but There is nothing in a flame but fire Is it satisfaction is it only Practice for the real thing snap out of the drug trip screaming HEY! We’re not supposed to be here (we’re not supposed to be here) Hey! We’re not supposed to be here! (we’re not supposed to be here) My blood is dirty water drain it bleed it wash it down the drain The devil in the other, somebody else’s mistake I am dripping with sweat, my hands I can’t hold anything in my hands I’ve only made one mistake in my life I’ve only made one mistake, I’m going Cool water on my brow can’t cool me down
I never see the threat too soon The blood on the bandage, the ghost in the room I got a canvas as white as the moon But when I see it at night it’s a sickening blue I was thinking people never change But there’s a new taste of dread that I cannot explain And the thoughts that make up my life Get reflected in others from time to time Now I’ve got another question and if we run out of time can we make an exception? I’ve got a piece that needs completion & I want to hear more from you, here’s what I’d like to do Oh temptation I could be a part of you Oh completion Come in closer, let the candle burn right through (If you can’t get what you’re after any other way) Am I on your mind? Is it what you like? Covered under your sleeve sometimes Am I on your mind? Is it what you like? I’m alright, I was really in a state last night I won’t speak I don’t know what to say I can see in your prayers it’s the same things we pay for got a currency that you accept So if you want to exchange we can try to connect Give me the number to your room and leave the door on the latch There are tigers in the jungle there’s a knife in the mattress I don’t think we broke the glass But hell if I know I never learned to dance What the hell do I know? I know I won’t always need you like this I swear I’m not always falling to bits But in the hallway the moment hits And the setup clicks like a safety Yeah you could hear a pin Drop Feel it I feel it You feel it... Am I on your mind? Is it what you like? I was really in a state tonight Am I on your mind? Is it what you like? I’m alright, put me up your sleeve sometime Sometime Other time No time Oh temptation I could take a piece from you Oh completion Let it burn let the candle burn right through
Hollywood 03:22
I’m Sick of violence Sick of money Sick of drinking Sick of drugs Sick of fucking Sick of staring at the ads on the bus Hollywood makes me want to puke Hollywood makes me want to puke You’ve got a face that you think Will last as long as the Sphinx But the poster’s painted over in a week if it stinks So let the people decide On a metro ride Because everyone’s an artist but no one has the time yeah Everywhere I go I’m oppressed by these energies Like it yes I love it I hear music in my head Was that a gun? Uhhh gamelan drum? Are my earbuds on the fritz? There’s a hiss on the bus and it goes round Hollywood makes me wanna puke Faces form faces Phrases come in phases Take me to the palace Make me think I’m famous Okay hop inside (come see my movie) hop inside (come see my movie) hop inside (come see my movie) hop inside (come see my movie) You can’t disengage with one single aspect Watching from the sidelines Supervising lines Why don’t you take what you can get No disruptions on the set You’re gonna wind up back home Where the fear splits in two like Moses Into Mansons and Monroeses Logic and hypnosis good and evil Only people They don’t talk about the 12 year olds on pills waking up in beds of big producers “I can make you famous I can make you something don’t go back to Oklahoma what’s in Oklahoma? You know this is not for public consumption you know nothing this is nothing that’s our slogan if you’re suffering if you’re hungry for something it’s nothing don’t you watch the news or read the movies? You do? Me too”
Hymn (Remix) 02:48
I feel it in my heart If I give this up will I be saved? Will my life be spared? What will take its place? What will take its place?
Martin 03:27
Justin I will find you In the winter I will find you When the world is asleep inside I will wake my eyes to starlight I will find you I will Justin Light is falling In the morning Someone’s calling I will find strength in your power I’ll stop running like a coward I will find you I will Just when I think I’m gone You change the track I’m on Just when I think I’m done You burn me up before the dawn Justin There’s no answer In the end I know There is no answer & when I’m high on things that bug me The morning news and instant coffee I’ll forget and forget And remember and forget I will never forget The way you made me feel (I turn the page Each pen mark leaves a trace Stars turn in place I still can see your face)
I am not awake I am not asleep I am not so shallow I am not that deep Do you wanna dance? Someone shut the door On the losing side Of some sort of war He said I’d like to do this for a living But I don’t know how Wild, uncommercial Sleeping on a leash There was a predestined set of symbols ticking into place A prom queen crowned in the background Stepping out of frame a pair of hands took me to your face your eyes Held me Oh, compassion Is transforming me into No reflection Swearing all I see is you Oh, compassion Is transforming me into
(never heard back from you) He looks like you but he’s not & he’s in your seat He’s copying your style But he doesn’t know the first thing You know a couple of the guys were thinking about moving away Because there’s less and less here that seems like it’s a reason to stay You’re not the only one who’s angry You shut the door they call you crazy You always said “they’ll never break me” What’s with you lately?
As if on cue They lit a firework The sky reeled back And I ran fast To get to you I think you knew Before the war began What loving to run to something Can do to a man Fall over the edge Learn to live while falling Every life Is a path worth following When you put it in words It’s comfortingly bland There’s so little left To understand When we’re strung up hanging From the knots we've allowed we call up our angels To cut us down “If you could be proud Of anything you’ve done What would it be?” Then they disappear And we are up in the clouds I feel the tension shock Right through my body I am wide awake shake a laugh from me I thought one day I thought I’d find a hole In my own backyard I’d never seen before Follow it down underneath that fence I come back up on the other side Live another life Break down the door and it’s yours for the taking I held it back til you stopped asking My eyes are blurred the clock is ticking I’m coming up short in a life worth nothing I hear women in my head with ordinary names That ring like magic Through some malfunction in my brain Your hands were warm Though you came in from the cold I took one and held it And suddenly start to shake shake... I feel it break I feel the waves of anger pain and sorrow Breaking over me The flags are raised, we part with no goodbyes and no tomorrows This is destiny Memories of the best regrets I played my song in every single rest Every note Of the symphony Mend the fence with the best of grace it’s Pleasantries to the bottom of the page I’m sorry
I saw you, I saw you, saw you… On the magazine cover with your Blue white eyes Read it from cover to cover Looking for you These are not my people here I think you know that Nervous like a wild dog Waiting for the attack I was living in the delta Wasting most of my time You know if I could close the blinds right I could sleep all through the night But I’ve seen the tides are rising Where once there was a shore I can still remember houses Stripped to the floor There must be more than blood That holds us together There must be more than wind That takes us away There must be more than tears When they pull back the curtain Of this much I am certain When you’re down for a while trying to get dried out You feel the time pass by but you don’t look around When you’re out for a while trying to get dried out You feel the time pass by but you keep your head down You were playing your music but you got drowned out You go back to the old house but you’ve been locked out And it wasn’t for love that you went back home It was the guilt in your throat like you swallowed a bone They had all of your life to get it right They had all of that time just to change their minds & you’re grateful for the bus it’s a place to sit down like a spider in the winter trying not to be found No use trying to heal when you’re getting stepped on No use selling your soul when you’re getting passed on How could they treat you like a forgotten card? “Dear Dad” “I’m sorry” “Thank you very much” What difference does it make when they throw you away? Will anyone ever hear what you had to say? I was flying on a red-eye My hand dropped to the aisle I could see myself clearly for the first time in a while There was nothing but lines, nothing but outlines My gut sank like a stone But I heard another voice say We all walk alone There must be more than blood That holds us together There must be more than wind That takes us away There must be more than tears When they pull back the curtain There must be more than fear
Famous 02:44
Matter Please let this matter No one can see this Or know that I need it Nowhere to turn I need a break I need a life that’s right I need to wait (I would spend any amount of money to get away from here) I’m tired of coming home sick Someone will care about this Please let somebody care about this Dsdlfasldfjhsaldfhlsdfjlsafhlsdjfhalsjfhsalj Change your mind Night to night Change your mind Change my mind Did you


Newness and Strangeness

This album was made from January 2015 to December 2019, starting as a collection of vague ideas that eventually turned into songs. I wanted to make something that was different from my previous records, and I struggled to figure out how to do that. I realized that because the way I listened to music had changed, I had to change the way I wrote music, as well. I was listening less and less to albums and more and more to individual songs, songs from all over the place, every few days finding a new one that seemed to have a special energy. I thought that if I could make an album full of songs that had 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 finished structures and jam on ideas that didn’t. Then I would mess with the recordings until I could see my way 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 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.

I think my main hope for the world of music is that it will continue to grow by taking from the past, with a consciousness of what still works now. Exciting moments in music always form at a crossroads - a new genre emerges from the pieces of existing ones, an artist strips down a forgotten structure and makes something alien and novel. If there is a new genre emergent in our times, it has not yet been named and identified, but its threads come from new ways of listening to all types of music, of new methods of creating music at an unprecedented level of affordability and personal freedom, of new audiences rising up through the internet to embrace works that would otherwise be lost, and above all from the people whose love of music drives them to create it in the best form they possibly can. Hopefully it will remain nameless for some time, so it can be experienced with that same newness and strangeness that accompanies any and all meaningful encounters with music.

"Yea but what's with the mask?"

Bob Dylan said, “if someone’s wearing a mask, he’s gonna tell you the truth...if he’s not wearing a mask, it’s highly unlikely.” He never actually wore a mask onstage so I don’t know why he said that. But I decided to start wearing a mask for a couple of reasons. One, I still get nervous being onstage with everybody looking at me. If everyone is looking at the mask instead, then it feels like we’re all looking at the same thing, and that is more honest to me. Two, music should be about enjoying yourself, especially live music, and I think of this costume as a way to remind myself and everyone else to have some fun with it. I don’t think it changes anything else about the songs or how you feel about them to be able to drop it for a second and have fun with it. If you can’t do that then you’re in a bad place...

The character comes from another project Andrew and I have been working on called 1 TRAIT DANGER. This is something Andrew started doing on tour¬—recording ideas for his own songs as they came to him, and forcibly enlisting everyone else to participate. It appealed to me because it was nothing like Car Seat Headrest, and the ideas cracked me up. Before we knew it we had two albums released, a video game that was almost impossible to beat, and a growing number of people who seemed to be enjoying it all. It’s been a great outlet for weird and untenable musical experiments, and the live performances have been a blast. I play a character called TRAIT, and we’ve been working out the backstory as we go. I think he spent a lot of time in classified government facilities before getting into the music business.

This is the kind of stuff that kept us going while we were working on MADLO. We were in our own little world and free to try any idea we wanted. A lot of the ideas for 1 Trait bled over to the Car Seat tracks, and vice versa. You just can’t make music without first creating your own environment around it...sound’s always gotta travel through something. This time it was a mask.



released May 1, 2020

Written by Will Toledo.
“Hollywood” written by Will Toledo and Andrew Katz.
Published by Mattitude.

Will Toledo – vocals, synths, keyboards, organ, guitar, piano, drum programming
Andrew Katz – vocals, drums, drum programming
Ethan Ives – guitar, vocals
Seth Dalby – bass guitar

Violin on “Can’t Cool Me Down” by John Huggins.
Guitar on “Hollywood” and “There Must Be More Than Blood” by Gianni Aiello.

Recorded in January and October 2019 at Avast Recording Co. in Seattle, WA.
Produced by Will Toledo and Andrew Katz.
Engineered by Will Toledo and John McRae.
Mixed by Will Toledo and Andrew Katz.
Mastered by Andrew Katz.

Artwork by Cate Wurtz.


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Car Seat Headrest

MADLO 2020. Band pic by Carlos Cruz.


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