Indie rocker Car Seat Headrest album recalled over copyright

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Indie rocker Car Seat Headrest album recalled over copyright

New York (AFP) – The first professional album by prolific young indie rocker Car Seat Headrest has been abruptly recalled after objections over a sample by New Wave greats The Cars.

Car Seat Headrest, the alter ego of 23-year-old Will Toledo, has won an underground following with his musically complex and lyrically bleak songs that he recorded at home and put out on his own.

Leading independent label Matador had announced in March that Car Seat Headrest would release his 13th but first studio-recorded album, “Teens of Denial,” on May 20.

But the label said it was recalling vinyl and CD versions that had been produced and were being shipped to stores after a dispute with The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek.

Car Seat Headrest sampled one of the best-known songs by The Cars, “Just What I Needed,” on the album.

Matador said it “negotiated for a license in good faith” but was informed last week that Ocasek did not want the song used.

“We truly believed we had the issue resolved months ago, until last week,” Car Seat Headrest said in a statement Thursday.

Matador now anticipates a physical release in July — with the recalled version likely to become a coveted collectors’ item if it somehow enters circulation.

“Teens of Denial” will still come out digitally on May 20. Car Seat Headrest said he has re-recorded the offending song — now with the title “Not What I Needed.”

Car Seat Headrest band’s singer/guitarist Will Toledo performs on October 15, 2015 during the CMJ Music Marathon in New York
Copyright AFP/File Jewel Samad

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