The video for "Sea More Sea More Sea More Sea More" off of Water Witches' "Feathers" album.

Top Tunes 2016: Water Witches

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This is the second installment of a December-long series that examines what Athens-centric tune heads have been jamming to all year long. Keep tabs on the series throughout the month here

We’ve put several thousand miles on our van this year which means lots of hours spent listening to music together, and in record stores abroad. We had the opportunity to play and attend Nelsonville Music Festival 2016, which opened us up to so much great music. Among the scores of awesome local sounds and new musical friends made, the following albums have definitely become favorites in 2016. Much of the material has made it’s way into our own music and we pay homage to these artists in our live shows.

Dr. DogBe the Void
Dr. Dog’s 2012 release is a shining example of gritty pop and diverse songwriting. We went to see their live show at the Newport in late March, which also had a huge effect on how we approach playing live. We’ve been covering a few songs from this album over the course of the past year, including “These Days” and “How Long Must I Wait.”

Thee Oh SeesCarrion Crawler
Optimal driving music, Thee Oh Sees Carrion Crawler is the driving, fuzzy rock and roll of our dreams. The minimalist surf rock laced with psychedelics has seeped into our own musical coven. We have easily been under the influence of this San Francisco band, it can be heard through our live performances and the new material we have been recording.

Heron Oblivion
NMF ’16 introduced us to some world-class musicians, among them another ‘Frisco psych outfit, Heron Oblivion. Charlie’s soul was ripped in half and his third eye throbbed and pulsed to the sonic assault of giants. Eye was there, eye saw it. The haunting vocals, strong-slow-groove, and out of this world double guitar work taught us it was alright to end every song in a wash of rich feedback.

Yonatan GatDirector
Anyone else who attended the Friday night performance of Yonatan Gat at NMF this year can attest to the spectacle that had taken place. The trio blends stream of consciousness guitar with pulsing bass and hyperkinetic drums to form their exciting sound. A glamorous attitude and lasting impression make their live shows wild and fun. Listening to the recording is like falling in and out of a dream listening to early ’70s jazz improvisations.

DEVOHardcore DEVO Vol. 1
This album is always in the car stereo, look for it or something like it in your local record store. (Haffa’s Records at 15 W. Union Street, Athens, OH.) DEVO rocks.

Spacemen 3The Perfect Prescription
We picked up a copy of this in Athens, GA at the famous Wuxtry record shop, on the store’s 40th year anniversary. The dreamy haze of guitars filled our mobile sweat lodge with just that, a perfect perscription to the views of highways littered with political signs. Lose yourself in the psychedelic drone.

Water Witches are Ethan Barman on guitar and lead vocals, Charlie Touvell on drums and Matt Clouston on bass.