Photo by  Camilla Ffrench.

laundry day is reinventing the teen boy band

The New York high schoolers are touring with Clairo and taking the stage at Tyler, the Creator's Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival all before graduation.

by Eda Yu
|
Aug 20 2019, 2:22pm

Photo by  Camilla Ffrench.

It’s a Friday morning at the Sportsmen’s Lodge hotel in Studio City and rising DIY teen band LAUNDRY DAY is sitting by the pool, lounging on the orange chairs framing the bright blue water. Seizing the opportunity, Camilla Ffrench, the resident photographer and videographer for the band jumps in—jean shorts and everything—just to capture the moment. It was a perfect glimpse into the fun this band of high schoolers brings to everything they do.

Hailing from New York, LAUNDRY DAY’s five members—Sawyer Nunes, Etai Abramovich, Jude Ciulla, Henry Weingartner, and Henry Pearl—are on the brink of becoming a global sensation. Their most recent album HOMESICK, released earlier this March to an enormously positive response. The group is slated to play Tyler, the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in November. And the band will close out the year by joining bedroom pop favorite Clairo on her European tour in December.

At just a glance, it’s not hard to see why. Their sound (a genre-defying amalgamation of alt-pop, punk, R&B, and trap beats), wild live performances, and homegrown, DIY approach create a raw, authentic intimacy to their work that can be hard to find. And with artists like Brockhampton and Tyler, the Creator as inspirations, the band has worked to form a cohesive brand vision that’s bigger than the music; in both process and execution, they’re making new rules while breaking old boundaries.

“[We’re] just free,” Jude says. “It's a lot about expression and freedom. We never try to push a political agenda, but I think if we push anything it's the idea of being yourself and doing your own thing.”

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Photo by Camilla Ffrench.

Sawyer adds: “The biggest thing is to just be yourself. Do what you want to do. That’s what inspired me the most about Tyler and Brockhampton. Like look at these group of kids that look so strange together. You'd never think that they’d be best friends or hang out. They’re just being themselves and now look where they’ve gotten.”

From their unique recording process to their genre-less style, the band’s fluidity and eagerness to try something new keeps them unpredictable—setting new norms for what the next generation is already looking for. In recording, for instance, band members aren’t specialized. The group records as they write, building ideas off one another, and sharing the process as fully as they can.

“It's like being on a team. We each have certain roles, and those roles change every day,” Sawyer explains. “One person will lay down a big part of a song and each person will add, or it'll be like a team [effort] and Jude has his position and he’ll add [a part]. And Etai will go in and add another little thing. We’re just adding on organically. Because we’re all luckily pretty proficient in production and can sit behind a computer and execute our ideas individually.”

At their live show later that evening, it’s clear that the band has perfected their coordination, switching seamlessly from one instrument to another—a striking embodiment of how their production-first approach gives them the flexibility to add something new to their performances. For example, near the end of their high-energy set—a couple highlights included Jude climbing the set banisters and the band’s manager stage diving belly-first into the young crowd. Etai left his post at the drums and Sawyer seamlessly replaced him, recruiting Henry Weingartner to help out with the cymbals.

Yet while LAUNDRY DAY’s cohesive identity comes across loud and clear, each band member still contributes something distinct and unique, making their music a true team effort: “A song can start a number of different ways. But at the end, I can always tell what each one of us added to the song, what each one of our individual sounds is like,” Etai says.

“It's so important to us that we maintain a sense of individuality and independence to be able to grow on our own. A lot of what we bring when we're all in the room comes from experience that we have by ourselves, whether it's a romantic relationship or a trip only one of us went on,” Jude shares. “In the future, we have to make sure we maintain this sense of having your own life. That's how we grow too.”

Growth, ultimately, is what keeps the band moving. They’re constantly finding new places to draw inspiration, taking steps to push each other, or try new experiences that will further them as a whole and their upcoming performances with Clairo and at Flog Gnaw are just part of that. Despite that they’ve already done two headlining tours, the band doesn’t approach the tour with a shred of arrogance. Rather, they center humility and growth—seeing it as an opportunity to learn from an artist they admire to impact their own art.

“I think it's important that we draw influence from everywhere. If you’re just pulling from one source, if you just want to be like one band, it’s like swimming in a kiddie pool. It’s three feet of water, you kind of look bad. But the more influence you draw from life, other music, and just being open to a bunch of new experiences, you start to fill up your ocean,” Sawyer explains. “And you start swimming in this really big sea.”

For now, the band will keep up their Hannah-Montana-style lives as they balance their rising star status with their high school English classes. They’ll soon close the chapter on their high school lives—the band starts senior year this fall—but their journey as LAUNDRY DAY is just beginning. And there’s doesn’t seem to be a limit to where it’ll go.