The Washover Fans
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The Washover Fans

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Folk Americana


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Washover Fans: That Habit Suits You"

If I could tell you who in my listening these folks are like, I would say Gillian Welsh or Coty Hogue. If you like these, you will likely enjoy this album. The Washover Fans are Gillian Tart (vocals, guitar), David Smith (vocals, guitar, mando, percussion), Colin Isler (vocals, guitar, cello, harmonica), and Seth Hayden (lead guitars, mando, banjo).

Songs that have a melancholy touch to them appeal to me, and there are a fair measure of pleasant, sit back and enjoy the mood kind of songs. Yet there is good variety on the album, and I want to dig in further as I have more time for listening.

Americana to the core, these musicians have infused the lonesome sounds of Appalachia, chordings from the mountains, instrumentations from bluegrass minus the grandstand twanging, and three part harmony with some fine triad choices. At the same time they have planted themselves firmly into the Northwest resurgence of new folk seen at NW Folklife, which runs the gamut of string bands to jug bands, though the Washover fans are neither jug or string. They are also good songwriters, and all of the instrumentation and vocals support the lyrics and tell a story.

I was curious about where they got the name....a washover fan is a "fan-like landform of sand washed over a barrier island or spit during a storm and deposited on the inland-side."

Seth says, "Gillian was a geology minor (I think) at college and she pulled this term from deep within her subconscious one day. We then thought/obsessed over it for a few months (as we do with all things) before we committed to it. None of us are geologists, but figured the phonology was interesting and also a reference to a natural formation went will with our "organic" sound. "

Good idea!

I am anxious to see them in person soon! - Victory Music


"That Habit Suits You" - EP
"Live at Empty Sea" - EP



Call them Indie Folk, Americana, Roots, whatever...

The Washover Fans aren’t ones to jump on trends. They’re more comfortable aligning themselves with tradition and the time-honored crafts of musicianship and songwriting.

Embraced by Seattle’s vibrant independent music scene, the Fans’ sound recalls the woods of the Pacific Northwest by way of Appalachia and Topanga Canyon. From sweet and sorrowful ballads to moving country shuffles and many notable stops in between, the Fans’ sound has been compared to Gillian Welch, the Avett Brothers, and Whiskeytown.

The core of The Washover Fans is made up of Seattle-based musicians David Smith, Gillian Tart, Colin Isler and Seth Hayden. A “typical” set involves a mix of creatively arranged covers and sympatico original material drawing from Americana and other rootsy traditions. The band passes around acoustic guitars, mandolins, banjos, cellos, percussion, harmonicas and more as David, Colin and Gillian deliver lush three-part harmonies and take turns at lead vocals. The addition of multi-instrumentalist Michael Connolly (Coyote Grace) - when the Fans can snag him in between national tours - rounds out the sound with the addition of the stand-up bass, fiddle, accordion, dobro and the occasional fourth voice.

The band released their first full length album, “That Habit Suits You,” in April of 2011. Engineered and co-produced with Steven Aguilar (David Bazaan, The Head and The Heart) at Bearhead Studio, the album received immediate praise among acoustic music enthusiasts and was featured as an Editor’s Pick on CD Baby.

A truly live album (no overdubs) came in the Winter of 2012 and showcases the band’s polished live sound. “Live at Empty Sea,” mixes Fans’ originals with re-imagined covers like Jackson Browne’s “These Days” and Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl.”

Winter of 2013 has been spent writing and arranging new material for a third album. After years of playing and writing together, songs and arrangements are coming easier and are covering more ground thematically - from the environmental effects of fracking to murder by train. As the songs get deeper and the stages get bigger, the four (or five) old friends continue to stay true to themselves and chase their collective group muse.