Seattle’s Rose Windows cram as much into the music as they do players on stage. The seven-piece psychedelic rock outfit has concocted a wholly unique swirl of American classic rock, British prog and psychedelia with ready dabbles into Persian, Indian and Eastern European sounds, making for a worldly musical experience like few others that came totally naturally.
“Some people are just not used to seeing seven-piece bands that pull influences from all over the world,” said singer Rabia Qazi. “We all loved world music. My family is from Pakistan. Our flautist is from Hawaii. We are sort of spread out and bring out music from wherever you come from.”
The band has roots in a party house in the Central District of Seattle. Guitarist and chief songwriter Chris Cheveyo approached Qazi about singing on a batch of songs he was piecing together, and five others soon came into the fold.
Rose Windows began recording its debut, The Sun Dogs, in the fall of 2011. Soon enough, famed hometown label Sub Pop (Nirvana, The Postal Service) came calling and wanted to put out the album. It hit shelves back in June.
“It’s a dream come true,” Qazi said. “It’s quite an honor. When we were first starting out, talking about recording a record, we fantasized about putting out an album through Sub Pop. We never thought they would actually pick us up, and when they did, we were so excited and ready for it.”
The Sun Dogs is an immersive, spiritual and beautiful listen — a conscious effort from the start.
“Sun dogs are these formations of light in the sky, and rose windows are those beautiful stained-glass cathedral windows in churches. We thought a lot of imagery when writing the record and creating scenes for people to enjoy,” Qazi said. “It just all sort of came together.”
The album has received positive reviews from fans and critics alike, most noting how pleasant a surprise it is that a band like Rose Windows actually exists now and that The Sun Dogs didn’t actually come out decades ago. “Really, I’m just proud that it’s being heard and that there are people out there who are really enjoying it,” Qazi said. “It’s our first record, and it’s doing pretty well. The response has been wonderful, and fans have been great.”
Rose Windows plan to support The Sun Dogs with shows alongside fellow Seattle outfit Moondoggies through the fall — including Monday’s stop at Opolis in Norman — and early spring with sights set on writing a sophomore record in the first half of 2014.
“It’s an exciting time, and I love being in a band this big,” Qazi said. “It’s a lot of fun … it feels like a big family.”