Last month, I posted a review of carwash’s single, racetrack — a song about life’s fleeting moments shortly before they turn into wistful memories. A beautiful, bittersweet blend of subdued sounds and honest storytelling. Today, carwash released his debut EP: soap water, and I am beyond stoked to continue sharing carwash’s creations with Early Rising’s readers.
soap water is a five track EP that pushes forward racetrack’s themes of chasing nostalgia as a way to cope with life’s uncertainty. Each track tells stories inspired by friendship, from the late night, deliriously deep car talks with the people who know you better than you know yourself, to the act of falling in love with your best friend who you never really anticipated on falling for… or did you? Above all, soap water serves as a reminder that no matter how mundane life may be, simply coexisting with the people you care about most is all you need.
In addition to the release of his EP, carwash will be debuting soap water: the movie later this month. A short film directed by carwash and Carsten, his childhood best friend, soap water: the movie follows along a friend group as they go about a summer day. Although the friend group is described as “wasting time,” carwash and Carsten capture each and every moment so gracefully and purposefully — it visually reflects the EP’s idea of finding beauty within the mundane.
I had the wonderful opportunity to interview carwash on soap water, as well as soap water: the movie. Dive into the creative mind of carwash with our Q&A!
T: Hi, carwash! It’s so nice to e-meet you. Can you introduce yourself to Early Rising’s readers? How old are you? Where are you from? Anything else we should know about you?
G: Hi early rising! I’m Garrett, also known as carwash, Postcard Boy, and other aliases that only complicate the situation. I love making little side projects. Maybe too much. I’m from San Diego and I’m twenty years old. I love burritos and going to the beach. Burritos and the beach are always a good combo. And I love an oreo milkshake, too. Separate occasion, though. I skate a bit with my friends, and I’ve been DJing my friends’ parties recently which is a new skill to me but an amazing time.
T: Can you explain the meaning/story behind your artist name, if any?
G: There is not a story behind the name carwash really that I can think of sadly. I knew that the music made under the name carwash would be somewhat rock oriented, and have a certain feeling to it. carwash felt fitting. I honestly don’t remember deciding on the name. I used to go to this self-serve carwash with my dad when I was a kid. The carwash happens to be next to my local mexican restaurant by the way. Not at all related to the name, but good memories.
T: You are wildly creative — I am a fan of your music under “Postcard Boy,” as well as your film work on YouTube and visual work on Instagram. Although these are all different mediums, they maintain a cohesiveness in aesthetic and theme. Who are your creative influences, and how do they inspire you?
G: I feel like it’s ever changing. I know that while making the soap water EP I was heavily inspired by American Pleasure Club and Alex G, specifically the album A Whole Fucking Lifetime of This. Spike Jonze is big for me the way he has navigated through music videos, skate videos, features, and more. I want to do it all. Honestly it’s so all over the place. It’s a wide mix of music and movies.
T: Congrats on the release of your Debut EP, “soap water”! Can you tell us more about its inspiration/how it came to be?
G: “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 lot of songs, and months later when I was listening back to all the demos, these five had a feeling of cohesiveness. I don’t know how to describe it. 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 a 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 young and the perspective of a pandemic, not knowing what the future might look like.
T: Of the five tracks, do you have a favorite? What does that track, in particular, mean to you?
G: It has switched so many times for me which is a really good sign. It was “friendship” for a while for me, but at the time of writing this I think it’s the last track, “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 small amount of 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 and tells the story exactly how it should.
T: “soap water” is accompanied by a short film “soap water: the movie” co-directed by yourself and an old friend. Do the two of you have a certain creative process when it comes to bringing your visions to life?
G: I don’t think there is a particular process for us. My friend that I worked on most of it with, Carsten, has been one of my closest friends since we met in seventh grade. He was in my middle school PE class and Spanish class. Since then, we have just been doing random creative things together all throughout high school. He’s just the nicest and extremely easy-going, but also knowledgeable and level-headed. He’s a dream person to work with or just hangout with. I think us being good friends makes the whole process more enjoyable, but also productive because we aren’t afraid to give input and we already know how eachother works. “soap water: the movie” was definitely the most intensive project we have done together. He was actually my roommate for the 4 months it took to write and shoot the project, so there were a lot of chances for us to get tired of each other, but we made it through and I have no complaints at all. That’s why I really only work with friends on creative projects. It’s more fun, and you already have an understanding of each other on a friendship basis which is so important to having a good time.
T: What do you hope people take away from the EP and/or film? Was there anything you might have learned about yourself and your artistry while creating the two?
G: I hope it makes the listeners appreciate their friends and their support systems more. We all need a hand in holding each other up through the random bumps in the road. I also hope that it inspires people to go make some art with their friends because there is not much that gets better than that. That’s all it took to make a movie! There is a lot of uncertainty in life, so make sure you make time to find joy and help your friends get through it as well.
T: What are you most excited for in your career? Is there anything we can expect moving forward this year?
G: I feel myself gravitating towards a larger Postcard Boy project. It feels like it is time to start working on that. I have no idea how long it will take, but to be honest I have quite a few ideas already for what I want to say, what I want it to feel like, and how I want the videos to go. Lots of ideas have been sitting in the back of my mind, filed away, waiting for the larger Postcard Boy project to be born. I am not sure about anything else yet. Hopefully I get to play some more carwash shows and jump around with everyone. I want to put faces to usernames and meet all the people that have been supportive over all this time apart.
I initially discovered Garrett’s music last year under his alias “Postcard Boy,” so I am absolutely thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview him and review his current projects. I am beyond stoked to see what the future has in store for carwash, Postcard Boy, and any more creative works to come from Garrett!
Stream “soap water” below!