MEET THE BAND: Sean Breeden (vocals, guitar), Dan Cooley (guitar, banjo), Joey David (drums), Jonathan Khouri (keyboards, vocals) and Brian Thompson (bass)
LANDING WITH NEW LISTENERS: The band formed in 2015 as two other local bands merged and started playing songs that Breeden had written. "We have this dark-folk sound, but it's hard to categorize our music," says Khouri. "I like Umphrey's McGee and Sean [Breeden] likes Manchester Orchestra and Brand New and our guitarist Dan [Cooley] is into different things and likes weirder stuff like Ween and Primus. Brian [Thompson] likes shreddier music like me, and Joey likes punk and then a lot of folk stuff like Mt. Joy. We continue to improve our chemistry, and we touch on different sounds, so we try to bring the energy and have a good time when we're up there playing live. It allows us to connect with everyone out there."
A TEAM EFFORT: The five-piece compiled tracks for its new album, Nexus, after working with a couple different audio engineers and some friends who served as session musicians throughout the process. Half of the tracks were recorded/mixed at Blockhouse Studios in Bloomington, Indiana, with Andy Beargie, while the rest were done locally. Beargie, a Westlake native who went to Indiana University and does both commercial A/V stuff and indie rock music, works out of the former Echo Park Studios, which he recently purchased. "It's a really cool studio, and he's a pro," says Khouri when asked about working with Beargie. "We can just haul out there and work late into the night." The group recorded three tunes locally with Jim Stewart at Superior Sound and two with Mike Jaworske and Brad Heyden at Defunk Studios in Stow. The album was mastered at Cleveland-based Cauliflower Audio. "We pieced it together and a lot of these songs have been live staples, so we really wanted to get them out there," says Khouri.
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: "Stage 4" features hoarse vocals and a mix of piano and loud guitars, and "Downward Spirals" possesses a herky-jerk Pavement-like vibe. "Chasing My Tail" features banjo, and the album includes a stripped-down version of "Looking Glass," the band's first single from 2015, The Nexus version features piano, vocals and a full string arrangement performed by friend, former Bloomington resident, and Amsterdam-native Diederik van Wassenaer (the Wonderhills, Dietrich Jon). "We recorded the song with Andy [Beargie], without enough time to add some finishing touches, so Andy sent it to Diederik. We just laid down the pianos and vocals. Diederik put the strings over it, and it sounds great."
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Window Dogs performs with AJ & the Woods, Paper Morning and Uptight Sugar at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, at Mahalls 20 Lanes in Lakewood.