Breaking their four year fast with a fresh set of songs and newly rinsed outlook on life, Car Seat Headrest conceived their latest album as a conversation between producer/drummer Andrew Katz and lead singer/guitarist Will Toledo’s split-personas. Together the two form 1 Trait Danger, a synth-based auxiliary that actively forces CSH’s restless pop-rock anthems through a futuristic electronic filter.
Keen to collaborate with himself, Toledo wanted every song to reflect his personal listening habits, which runs on singles as opposed to albums. This ‘in the moment’ perspective is strongly reflected in the disparate natures of his anti-social sonic hybrids.
CSH’s technical transformation reveals itself subtly as the dronetastic introduction, “Weightlifters,” pushes through a pool-party of rippling angst and drum machine heart murmurs. Dipping below the surface, the suburban drift of “Can’t Cool Me Down” is quickly eclipsed by the full-sun sizzle of “Hollywood,” with its brassy highlights and top-down morality.
Soft-pedalled by a sensory-deprived middle section, diary burner “Deadlines” and Kodachrome snapshot “Life’s Worth Missing” pick up the pieces and the pace just in time for the closing cerebral scramble, “Famous.” Constantly switching up their climate control, Toledo believes he has struck upon a winning nu-folk formula. A malleable and reinterpretable genre with no maximum mileage or occupancy.