Launder @ the Echoplex on 12.08.19

Just had some quick inspiration to get another back catalogue live show posted … or at least a few moments from it. This one’s from Launder, an L.A.-based indie act that dabbles in equal parts dream-pop and shoegaze, keeping things a bit gruff and rough around the edges, while still remaining blissfully melocholic and loudly ethereal.

These SoCal boys performed the Echoplex back in December, opening for Nothing, which is a like-minded act that I’ve featured a few times on the blog. I figure, since the local scene is suffering under Covid-19 oppression, it’s worth giving a few shout-outs to the little guys, while everyone’s got some at-home time to explore new things.

Launder ain’t necessarily little, though, at least when it comes to the fullness of their guitar-based sound. On stage, this aspect really shines and shimmers, moreso than what tends to grace their studio recordings, which sometimes feels a little less wall of sound, and a bit more stripped-down, garage-polished indie.

Much of that is courtesy of Day Wave’s Jackson Phillips, who lent his production skills to Launder, along with guitarist Zachary Cole Smith of the Brooklyn act DIIV. These two talents embody a lot of Launder’s core foundation.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I do enjoy both extremities on their own terms. But I do think my preference tends to lean louder. So Launder’s opening set fulfilled that aural prescription quite nicely. And I feel this is the forum where their music is truly meant to be played and heard.

My only gripe is that sometimes John Cudlip’s breathy vocals fall a tad flat in the mix. Only sometimes, though. That could be due to the Echoplex, or where I was standing. For the most part, though, all of it flowed quite naturally amongst the hazy gaze of guitars.

I’ve got five tracks from the show, one of which I haven’t been able to identify, which is odd, since Launder’s only released one 5 track EP, “Pink Cloud,” and a handful of subsequent singles. It all amounts to a total of 8 songs, I think. Anyway, if I can figure out what it is, I’ll update this post in the future. It’s probably a new track, or some semi-obscure cover that I’m having a memory-lapse on.

Here’s a sample of Launder’s Echoplex show on 12.08.19.

Launder perform “Powder” at the Echoplex on 12.08.19.

Launder perform “Chew” at the Echoplex on 12.08.19.

Launder perform “Wonder” at the Echoplex on 12.08.19.

Launder perform “Annie Blue” at the Echoplex on 12.08.19.

Launder perform a dreamy unknown track at the Echoplex on 12.08.19.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a setlist for this show. But I’m guessing it only includes a couple of additional tracks. In it’s place, I’ve assembled a short sampler, with four of the five tracks that Launder performed. Like I said, I’m not sure what that last one is.