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This past year, Rose Windows saw thick anticipation for their debut album, The Sun Dogs, and delivered with a solid piece of storytelling. The fluid imagery of often nature-type paintings of a situation blend with heavy mystical instrumentals for layers that surround the scene being portrayed. As vocalist Rabia Shaheen Qazi builds belting cries and the flute flutters through a guitar riff, Rose Windows’ signature sound gives something that current psychedelic music does not always embody.
The Seattle band offered a chance to bring The Sun Dogs to a new life within their live performance at T.T. the Bears, opening for Moondoggies. It was their first time performing in Boston and although the Wednesday night made for a half full room, the set was filled with just the care and intensity as a band would put into a sold out night.
One aspect of Rose Windows’ live performance that hits you from the beginning is the significance of the organ and piano in holding their sound. David Davila graces one hand on the piano while the other wails on the organ above to get this ominous film over the rest of the stage. At times the sound drifts above to sound as though it is Qazi’s duet partner. The band has much to owe to the organ for its mysterious quality and it is most apparent in “Native Dreams,” the track where Qazi and guitarist Chris Cheveyo ripped open the heaviest sounds of their set. Although the vocals and guitar bring an overwhelmingly bright peak to the song with their grungy tones, the organ is still there holding the sound of their previous songs in check. The organ and piano lines are the ones that keep the band’s set cohesive.
Another song that really brought Qazi’s vocal abilities to attention was “This Shroud.” She swayed through the verses in this dark tone as her long disheveled hair flew in every direction. As she reeled in a note down slowly at the end of lines, she set a lower register in which she used for the next phrase where she shrieked on tune, something that made you shutter with the dark beauty of its tone. The intensity of the vocals and guitar were taken in with some shock. Even if you had listened to The Sun Dogs before the show, it was such a contrast from the otherwise fairly mellow set. Being a smaller crowd, it was also taken into incredible appreciation. The intimate setting made it feel as though a sound so large could just blow you over. The impact of it was transparent through the audience’s awing expressions.
Rose Windows match their debut record, The Sun Dogs, with a humbling set. Each member left the stage with everything they contributed on the album and more, even for a couple of people on a Wednesday night. As their songs offer some variety and intricate arrangement, Rose Windows give us something to anticipate for the future of their career.