Formed in 2015 as the natural fusion of two separate projects (pop-folk duo Feathers and experimental psych-rock act Halcyon), the band is comprised of long-time friends Ethan Bartman (guitar, lead vocals), Charlie Touvell (drums, vocals), and Matt Clouston (bass, vocals), Though the trio can often host a wide array of fellow musicians and performers, with sets including organists, guitarists, violinists, and even an irreverent rock-and-roll-reverend, adding a rich and uncommonly genuine sense of communal expression and musical exploration.
Due in part to the diversity of their live performances, Water Witches draw on a far-flung range of influences including Devandra Banhart, Spacemen 3, Aphrodite’s Child, and Velvet Underground. They have cultivated a unique and cohesive sound which Ghettoblaster Magazine described as, “a little bit rock, a little bit psych-folk, a whole lot of good.”
The playful energy of their live shows transcribes itself effortlessly onto the translucent, green vinyl of their first full-length album, Feathers. The pounding, fuzzed-filled crowd favorite “Sea More” invokes the carefree simplicity of Jonathan Richman’s early Modern Lovers days, while the opus “White Noize” begins as a dreamy, psychological ballad that grows into a chaotic and powerful sonic tidal wave, all in just under four minutes. The sincerity of Bartman’s lyrics lends a delightful contrast to the colorful complexity of their melodies and on-stage personas.
They received the 2016 Athens Community Music Festival’s Band of the Year Award, and their ceaseless touring efforts have given them a well-earned reputation as one of the best new bands in the mid-west.
Their self-produced debut album, Feathers, is available for digital download and vinyl purchase on Bandcamp, and streaming on Spotify.