With a melancholic drone so rich it bleeds, Seattle band Rose Windows craft dark psychedelic rock that casts a long shadow. All too often the band’s sound is described as an amalgam of influences. And while there is no doubt that the band’s howling female vocals, buzzing guitars, and organ place them squarely in the tradition of Black Sabbath, The Doors, and Jefferson Airplane, there’s more to the layered sound Rose Windows creates.
“It’s an anthropological study in music,” said Rose Windows’ guitarist Nils Petersen when describing the band’s songwriting. He explains how the group is always searching out the classical musical styles from one culture while probing the modern music of another. “Just the sheer size of the group covers a lot of bases. Each person brings a lot of varying influences to the table,” Petersen added.
This June the band will release a new EP, There Is A Light, on Sub Pop Records. While the EP is the first official release of the material, an older version of the title track was recorded in Olympia, WA in 2013. Acoustic guitar dominates this sparse version and the warm enveloping fuzz that fills their 2013 debut, The Sun Dogs , is nowhere to be found. According to Petersen the song has gone through many iterations and the version to be released in June bares little resemblance to the folk-driven Olympia recording. Listening to it though strips away a lot of the polish and nuance of the band’s current sound and reveals a remarkably grounded and traditional foundation to the expansive influences incorporated in newer material.
Rose Windows will be playing at Witch Room (1815 19th St.) in Sacramento on Thursday, May 8th at 8p.m. Also playing are Sad Numbers, featuring members of beloved local legends Rocketship, and The Ancient Sons.
For tickets ($8) and more information on the upcoming show visit witchroomsac.com.
Photo by Alison Scarpulla