carwash’s ‘soap water’ Is a Brilliant Portrait of Fleeting Youth

Photo: Athena Merry

Garrett Seamans goes by plenty of names - phylm, Postcard Boy, carwash - yet one thing remains constant. And that is the desire to create music that conveys a youthful sincerity and sense of experimentation. It is this penchant for sonic experimentation and vulnerability that Seamans brings to the forefront on carwash's debut EP, soap water.

soap water is filtered through a lens of nostalgia. It is music that calls to mind adolescent romance, indie rock of the '90s and early aughts, and halcyon summer days. In many ways, the five-track collection feels like it could have been written in any era, the sort of project you would stumble upon and instantly find yourself transported back (or forward) to days of teenage escapism.

Opening on "friendship," a blistering alternative meditation on the hesitation of accepting and returning love, carwash wastes no time in setting the pacing for his debut EP, which is why what comes next is all the more exciting. Slowing things down to a gentle saunter, "a big tree in a great green field" plays out somewhere between interlude and saccharine love letter carried by the serene strumming of a pair of acoustic guitars. This degree of sobering emotional sincerity continues on "racetrack," which carries all the weight of a classic emo offering, delving headfirst into the pitfalls of feeling lost amidst losing your adolescence.

soap water proudly wears its influences for all the world to see, and in doing so, emerges as a project that's less mere imitation and more newfound creation. Take "boyfriend, girlfriend," which brilliantly switches from shoegaze to something more in line with modern-day indie rock. And yet, even as the EP's closing track ventures back to comfortable territory to explore an acoustic-led, bittersweet musing on the impermanence of life, carwash never loses sight of himself. soap water is not defined by its myriad of sonic and emotional inspirations, rather they merely exist to build out carwash's kaleidoscopic world.

Listen to soap water below: