carwash’s debut ‘soap water’ EP – “lo-fi nuances and overall introspect forge a snapshot of youth” (Line of Best Fit)

September 18 2021
Photo by Athena Merry

20-year-old multi-instrumentalist and multi-disciplinary artist Garrett Seamans today shares soap water, the debut EP from his latest emo-tinged DIY pop project, carwash. Listen HERE.

soap water chronicles the transformation of close friendship into young love, capturing the fluctuating emotions of hesitance vs. surety of youth. On opener “friendship” (today’s focus track) and lead single “racetrack”, you feel it through bursts of crunched-out, reverb-laden electric guitars and flurries of nostalgic melodies, channelling the pangs and pulls of adolescent desire.

Coastal haziness combines with the yearning of second-wave emo and the arena-sized relatability of contemporary bedroom pop in sweeping, lovelorn pushes. At the center lies second single ‘racetrack’, Seamans’ half-murmured multitrack vocals, atmospheric instrumentation, and raw-mic’d strumming of acoustic guitar paint unhurried intimacy in lo-fi tones reminiscent of Alex G. and Florist. On “a big tree in a giant green field” and closer “at least i lived it with you”, carwash fashions delicate, fleeting vignettes of emotion where ghostly samples – snippets of field recordings and voice memos – float in and out of the mix, while plucked guitars impart the vulnerability of stripping yourself completely bare.

“soap water comes out of a handful of demos that I didn’t initially intend to be a project. In lockdown, pretty much all I was doing was making music, skating in my driveway, walking around the neighborhood, and then coming back inside and making more music. Inevitably, I made a decent number of songs, and months later when I was listening back to all the demos, these five had a cohesiveness. That interwoven feeling I noticed between the songs was originally from the sonic textures each one held, but when I started examining the lyrics to see how the stories I was telling would mesh together, the more it solidified that these songs needed to be a project. Each is a story of friendship, and that’s what I was missing the most while writing these I think. The songs speak to the multitude of stories and emotions connected to trying figuring out life with your friends. The voice of uncertainty in the lyrics, that I notice now listening back, I think is motivated by being a young adult and also from the perspective of writing during a pandemic, not knowing what the future might look like,” says Seamans.

Co-directed by Seamans and an old friend, soap water: the movie, due to be released shortly following the EP and premiered at a Los Angeles DIY venue, brings the narrative push and cinematic soundscapes of carwash’s debut EP to life. Written as a hangout movie, the short film zeroes in on one day in the life of a teenager who hopes desperately for his first kiss, capturing the fragile moments of being an almost-adult.

The creativity of San Diego-born, Los Angeles-based artist Garrett Seamans runs freely, hardly reined in by notions of genre or medium. Escapist experimentation is the rule; vulnerability is the constant. From the alt-pop blankets of Postcard Boy to the comparatively guitar-forward carwash and the whimsical videos he releases under his YouTube channel, phylm, this ethos is what ties all of Garrett’s projects together. The music Seamans creates as carwash is influenced in part but not limited to: emo and indie rock of the ‘90s and the early aughts, sunrises spent on the San Diego coast, his cinematographic work, high school romance, the need for a language more accessible than words themselves.

soap water is out now, buy/stream it here.

1. friendship
2. a big tree in a giant green field
3. racetrack
4. boyfriend, girlfriend
5. at least i lived it with you

Stay connected with carwash:
Instagram | Facebook | YouTube