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Miracle Fortress

Who? Deeply entrenched in the incestuous indie scene of Montreal, art rock outfit Miracle Fortress is piquing interest south of the border. Behind the music is multi-instrumentalist Graham Van Pelt, who is best known for fronting dance-pop trio Think About Life. His vision for this solo side project was rather fittingly brought to life in the super-hip art and performance space he co-founded, entitled Friendship Cove. The result is Five Roses, a blissful foray into space rock, which drops May 22 via Secret City.

What’s the Deal? Miracle Fortress is a fresh departure from the disco house styles of Think About Life. Instead, Five Roses successfully captures a dreamy sonic landscape eerily akin to Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys. Backed by colorful keyboard trills, layered vocal harmonies, and gentle acoustic guitar strums, the lyrics exude a simple and mellow elegance. Van Pelt struggles with inner demons “I’m in no shape to share my point of view/Maybe failing’s the first thing I can do” (“Poetaster”), while simultaneously longing for youthful innocence past, “And maybe when we’re older I’ll be less afraid/And maybe when it gets colder you can come to stay” (“Maybe Lately”).

Fun Fact: Miracle Fortress isn’t always a one-man band. Sunset Rubdown’s Jordan Robson-Cramer (drums), Telefauna’s Adam Waito (keyboard), and SS Cardiacs’ Jessie Stein (guitar) round out Miracle Fortress’ live lineup. ELIE Z. PERLER

Now Hear This: Miracle Fortress – “Have You Seen In Your Dreams” STREAMING MP3

On the Web: Miracle Fortress at MySpace

Talk: The Montreal music scene — totally played or still the rage?

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