In my first year of undergrad at Carleton College the biggest band on campus was the Karate Squids. I only got to see them play once, during spring term in the upstairs section of a since-closed local bar, but that night of sticky floors and earworm choruses, of hoarse voices and unbridled passion, would never leave me. For me, it would come to represent the ideal of what a college band could be. And then the Squids graduated, leaving me with an idealized memory that I haven’t been able to return to since. Not until Laundry that is.
Laundry formed in 2017 at the University of Oregon, their name taken from the dormitory laundry rooms in which they would play late into the night. Their sound is difficult to nail down simply because it’s always changing, and each of their three albums, from 2018’s funky and punky The Quandary to the guitar pop-rock focus of last year’s Fast Cars, has a distinct sonic identity. One common thread is danceability. There are very few slow songs in Laundry’s discography, largely because of the importance they place on using live shows as part of their creative process, testing out songs on local crowds in Eugene before even thinking of hitting record.
Together, Kiki Paroissien-Arce, Nik Barber, Riley Somers, and Cal Fenner have created the kind of project that creates the most loyal of fanbases. Whether it’s Somers’s brief dip into a remarkable bass tone as he sings on “Disharmony” or Fenner’s captivating animated music videos, there are so many little things to love about this group. I’ve only ever heard their records though, and Laundry made their name as one of Oregon’s must-see live shows and as the opening act for bands like Mild High Club and Ritt Momney. So now with music venues slowly opening up around the country, I may just have to take a trip out there myself.
Listen to Laundry’s new single “Watch TV” wherever you stream your music!
For their Greylist, Laundry shared five of their favorites out of their ever-expanding catalogue.
1. “Lonely Mess,” Laundry
2. “Hypochondriac,” Laundry
3. “Odd Man Out,” Laundry
4. “Fast Cars,” Laundry
5. “Drive,” Laundry
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