“Friendship, Empathy, & Youth”: carwash’s Radiant Debut EP ‘soap water’ Captures the Wonder of Connection & Intimacy

carwash © Athena Merry
carwash © Athena Merry
A radiant and rollicking alternative record diving into the depths of connection and camaraderie, carwash’s debut EP ‘soap water’ is a powerhouse of visceral sound and raw emotion.
for fans of The 1975, Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker
Stream: “boyfriend, girlfriend” – carwash




‘soap water’ is all about friendship, helping each other along through life and marching on. Sometimes you fall in love, sometimes you sit around and do nothing, and sometimes the world feels like it’s crashing in on itself.

A radiant and rollicking alternative record diving into the depths of connection and camaraderie, carwash’s debut EP is a powerhouse of visceral sound and raw emotion. Written and recorded during the pandemic, soap water is a beautifully passionate and stirring five-track ode to friendship and ‘being there’; of finding the wonder and meaning in life together; and of making the most of those fleeting little moments and pass us by in all too fast.

soap water - carwash
soap water – carwash
Boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever you wanna call it
There was a boy and a girl, and their two worlds collided
Couple kids in the summer heat at seventeen
Ended up falling in love accidentally
Took me all night
Caught me by surprise
Baby blue-eyed
Napoleon Dynamite

Released September 17, 2021 via Playroom, soap water is the debut EP from Garrett Seamans’ “emo-tinged DIY pop project” carwash, but not Seamans himself: The San Diego-born, Los Angeles-based artist multi-instrumentalist is perhaps best known for his alt-pop alter-ego Postcard Boy, whom Atwood Magazine previously praised for “nostalgic sounds and strong visual aspects [that] transport fans into his world… Possessing melodic vocals reminiscent of Ryan Beatty and Role Model, everything about [Seaman’s] music project is beautifully executed.”

“Musically, I have carwash and Postcard Boy right now,” Seamans tells Atwood Magazine. “Postcard Boy was my first endeavor, carwash was the second. I initially planned on carwash being a throwaway project where I could play around with making rock inspired music, but it has slowly grown into its own and surpassed Postcard Boy’s audience. I guess it’s a gut feeling. It used to be a bit more vague to me what the difference was, but moving forward I see Postcard Boy exploring a more electronic, experimental indie pop side, while carwash plays with a more rock, alternative, emo space. I’m super open to both their sounds evolving and changing so I don’t want to box them in with a genre too much. For me, both fulfill a different creative craving and I don’t see me ever choosing either over the other. They’re both little parts of who I am in the end.”

carwash © Bennett Coast
carwash © Bennett Coast



Speaking to Atwood Magazine‘s Kelsey Fitzgerald in April 2020, Seamans – who had to date released only four songs as carwash, and was in the process of releasing a higher-visibility EP as Postcard Boy – spoke candidly of his passions and musical pursuits. “I’ve just gravitated toward the freedom of creativity since I was super young and that has carried through until now,” he explained. “I’m a firm believer in the idea that you get out of things what you put in. If you want to be a better artist, whatever media you love, you have to be willing to spend hours and hours learning and practicing to get better.”

Given this disposition, it should come as no surprise that the 20-year-old spent the bulk of the pandemic making, creating, and experimenting with music, film, and more.

soap water comes out of a handful of demos that I didn’t initially intend to be a project,” Seamans says. “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. There was no vision; That sounds terrible, but I just made a boatload of songs about everything I could during my time at home, locked down in quarantine. 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.”



Diving deeper into his EP’s themes, he explains, “soap water is all about friendship, helping each other along through life and marching on. Sometimes you fall in love, sometimes you sit around and do nothing, and sometimes the world feels like it’s crashing in on itself. Through it all, soap water tells my personal stories about specific experiences I’ve had with my best friends. I didn’t have the theme or the idea for this project initially. I had made tons of songs throughout quarantine and these felt like a perfect fit together as I looked through all the demos. I realized the narrative I was sharing as a whole.”

carwash © Athena Merry
carwash © Athena Merry

“I had had that title (soap water) as my bio for carwash since the beginning. I always knew that would be the first project title just because it had been part of the idea of carwash from the start. I started to understand it later, that soap water can be seen as both the cleansing source and the dirty liquid down the drain. I think that’s a good representation for a project about friendship. There are the scary, jumbled lows and the times where nothing could be better. The sparkling shine.”

soap water soars to great heights and dwells in low depths during its short, but impactful fourteen-minute run. Reminiscent of early Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire, with specks of lo-fi and high-octane overdrive sitting side-by-side, it’s an emotional journey that hits hard and leaves a mark. Along with a soon-to-be-released self-directed film soap water: the movie (set for release later this fall), Seamans says he considers this his greatest achievement to date.



“It’s the most proud I’ve been so far of any project of mine,” he glows. “Combined with the movie, it’s a pairing of both my love for visuals and music. The movie was made with my best friends, and the people I didn’t know going into the movie are my friends now. So in a sense, the movie’s creation is a reflection of the friendship story I tell in the music itself. I want the music to be the audience’s friend when they need it. I’m as happy as I can be with this project, so I’m hoping that energy resonates in every listener and viewer.”

And you say
That you’re scared
That you’d scare me away
If I knew everything
That made you today
Well good luck
‘cause I’m super tough
Oh I need you to know that
I’m not afraid
I’m not somebody who’s gonna go chase your love
You’re not somebody who normally trusts someone
I’m not somebody who normally cares a lot
You’re not somebody who normally opens up
Losing all our rules
There’s something different about you
You really get me, you’re really weird
But I really like that, oh I really like you




He goes on to list the EP’s frenetic, feverish opener as his favorite song at present. “It’s bounced around over time, but right now for me my favorite is “friendship.” It chronicles a really special time in a friendship for me, and the ending just feels how it should.” A dynamic, dramatic alt-rock overhaul with a churning beat and a fast pulse, “friendship” captures the intensity of vulnerability with revealing, confessional lyrics that feel torn from the pages of Seaman’s diary. “You really get me, you’re really weird, but I really like that, oh I really like you,” he sings, a sonic whirlwind thriving all around his achingly plaintive voice. “I collapsed in your arms at your apartment, Westlawn, in the dark, head throbbing again. Said all my problems are valid and that you care for me, are there for me, and I knew you meant it.

The innocence of youth gently, softly slips away as carwash dives into the explorations of young adulthood. His introspective lyrics spill straight from his soul, leaving no stone unturned. He sings fondly of simple pleasures from a place of distance and disconnect in the sweetly bittersweet, minute-long acoustic ballad “a big tree in a great green field.”  On the EP’s lead single “boyfriend, girlfriend,” he relates a deeply personal story of falling in love with your best friend, and all the pains and uncertainties, inner stress and tension that can cause.

Lyrically, Seamans cites the unplugged emo-adjacent track “racetrack” as another personal highlight. “I really like the evolution of the verses on “racetrack” from, ‘There’s like 1000 different things we could do right now than just shift around your room too many hours,‘ until the ending, ‘There’s like a billion different things I could’ve done by now, but all bajillion led me to you.’ I also really love the whole track ‘at least i lived it with you.'” “racetrack” evokes a kind of muted wonder at the world: It’s a moody ode to that special kind of vulnerability you can have with your close, close friends:

There’s like 1000 better things we could do right now
Than just howl at the moon after hours
Let’s imagine that my car is a spaceship
That could fly as far away from facing it
Isn’t that what we’re looking for?
Isn’t that what we’re looking for?
I don’t know anymore
What are we looking for?
What the fuck are we looking for?
Does anyone know anymore?
Does anyone know ever?
And if we crank the volume up then we won’t hear
The voices in our heads that never clear
Just another couple laps around the block
To lose our fears about growing up
I know it’s tough to have no clue about what to do
Oh we’re just trying to pass the time
We’ve got no idea about our lives
I’ve got you and that’s all I want to care about
Oh we’re just trying to pass the time away




Ultimately, soap water reminds us that friendship is a beautiful, meaningful, and wondrous essential in life.

Through moments of fragility and times of energetic radiance, carwash captures the magical depths of personal relationships and connection: Those things that sustain us and nourish us through good times and bad.

“I hope listeners find friendship in the project itself, but also appreciation for the friends that they have,” Seamans shares. “It’s so crucial to have good people around to laugh and cry with, and it took me too time to understand that.” Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside carwash’s soap water EP with Atwood Magazine as Garrett Seamans goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his latest record!

— —

:: stream/purchase carwash here ::
Stream: ‘soap water’ – carwash



:: Inside soap ater ::

soap water - carwash

— —

friendship

This song is all about vulnerability in the beginnings of a friendship, and the fear of opening up and scaring someone away. This track went through multiple titles including “fear” and “i’m not afraid”, but ultimately “friendship” because I think a true friendship doesn’t consist of that fear at all. It’s purely freeing. This song tells the story of two friends who at different times had to step up to be there for the other. The first verse talks about one’s fear of sharing a private story that they’re scared to even retell to themselves. Later in the song, when the other friend feels guilty, like a burden for sharing their problems, their friend reassures them that they are no burden at all, there is no such feeling like that in their friendship. This track is all about having someone there for you regardless and the limitless feeling from that. The end of the song sonically opens up to mimic how infinite a friendship like that feels.
And you say
That you’re scared
That you’d scare me away
If I knew everything
That made you today
Well good luck
‘cause I’m super tough
Oh I need you to know that
I’m not afraid
I’m not somebody who’s gonna go chase your love
You’re not somebody who normally trusts someone
I’m not somebody who normally cares a lot
You’re not somebody who normally opens up
Losing all our rules
There’s something different about you
You really get me, you’re really weird
But I really like that, oh I really like you
I collapsed in your arms
At your apartment
Westlawn, in the dark
Head throbbing again
Said all my problems
Are valid and that
You care for me
Are there for me
And I knew you meant it

a big tree in a great green field

I had just bought a cheap classical guitar from my local music store and had fallen in love with the way it sounded. It is a half-size guitar (meaning it’s much smaller than a standard guitar), so it is so easy to pick up and play. It’s hard to describe, but in the most cheesy sense, the guitar feels like a friend. Anyways, I wrote this song in the beginning of lockdown when all my friends had been stripped away. The idea of being able to go have a picnic with a couple friends and distance yourself away from the world for a brief period, seemed so foreign and dreamlike. This song romanticizes that idea, “run away from our problems, because hide and seek is just what we need, we won’t actually solve them, but we feel complete under the big tree in a great green field.”
Part time picnic partners
A big tree in a big green field we could meet
Runaway from our problems
Because hide and seek is just what we need
We won’t actually solve them
But we feel complete under the big tree
Under the big tree in a great green field

racetrack

There is an unspoken, very special bond about being able to waste time with someone. racetrack is about that connection, a friendship where you can do absolutely nothing all day, but feel so comforted, so at ease. I spent so many days lying around my friends’ rooms trying to figure out something to do. We always eventually hop in the car and lap neighborhoods, driving in circles. That’s where the title “racetrack” comes from, laps and laps around the same streets. While at the surface it seems so mundane, driving around has become the space where conversation naturally reveals itself. We become more vulnerable. We choose the music we want to hear, we show each other albums the other hasn’t heard, we stall the world.
There’s like 1000 different things we could do right now
Than just shift around your room too many hours
Let’s ride around in circles through some neighborhood
It’s not anything that’s new but it’s something to do
And if we crank the volume up then we won’t hear
The voices in our heads that never clear
Just another couple laps around the block
To lose our fears about growing up
I know it’s tough to have no clue about what to do
Oh we’re just trying to pass the time
We’ve got no idea about our lives
I’ve got you and that’s all I want to care about
Oh we’re just trying to pass the time away

boyfriend, girlfriend

“boyfriend, girlfriend” is the story of falling for your best friend. For me, it was in the summer when I was seventeen. I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, so it took me weeks to finally make a move. Our first kiss was during the credits of the film Napoleon Dynamite, which was the title I had for the song originally. The chorus chronicles that first kiss moment. Thankfully, it went well, and we are still together a couple years later now. I wrote this song reflecting on the beginnings of our relationship. A lot of our initial bond was over music and going to shows, so I’m happy this song carries the energy that live music supplies. The outro of this song was the first part I produced on the track. Written in the heart of quarantine, I made the double-time outro with the imagination of live shows coming back after the pandemic, so I’m really looking forward to living that out soon.
Boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever you wanna call it
There was a boy and a girl, and their two worlds collided
Couple kids in the summer heat at seventeen
Ended up falling in love accidentally
Took me all night
Caught me by surprise
Baby blue-eyed
Napoleon Dynamite
Kiss me goodnight
So I won’t forget
The very first time
That your lips met mine

at least i lived it with you

This song I spent months writing. It went through a lot of variations. It originally was written as a poem in a journal entry and had a lot more lines that didn’t end up in the final lyrics. The final track says exactly what I feel and nothing more. Pre-pandemic, on Thursday nights, a friend and I used to go down to the beach in the dark and just sit and chat, contemplating the little life that we have lived. Staring out in the dark, pointing aimlessly at lights in the night sky wondering if they were a constellation or a plane, soundtracked by the hum of the tide. The intro to the song is actually a voice memo from one of those nights, us guessing at stars. I don’t have too much to elaborate on because the song has such few lines, and I feel like each one contributes what it is supposed to, to the story of those nights.
Staring out in the dark
Is it a star or a jet?
Will we live forever?
Or will the world forget about us, too?
At least I lived it with you
And oh is lovely to love you and you love me, too
By the lifeguard tower
We dig our feet in the sand
Will our dreams outrun us?
Or could we catch up to them if we held hands?
I wanna chase them with you
‘Cause oh does it feel like we could do anything us two

— —

:: stream/purchase carwash here ::

— — — —

soap water - carwash

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📸 © Athena Merry

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