Five Roses

There are two types of people in this world, those who love Canadian bands and those who don't, and there is absolutely no grey area. While the more popular ones from the area come across as grandiose and orchestral, there are also some that remain more quiet and introspective. Such is the case with the sunny California influenced Miracle Fortress.

The name might sound familiar since the band's main multi-instrumentalist, Graham Van Pelt, has been creating melodic pop since 2005. (Not to mention going on several tours with Love Is All, Islands and Vic Chestnut.) For his debut album, Five Roses, Graham enlisted Sunset Rubdown's Jordan Robson-Cramer, SS Cardiacs' Jesse Stein and Telefauna's Adam Waito. The collaborative efforts result in a shimmering sonic journey; one that carefully nods at its influences ranging from Beach Boys and Brian Eno to My Bloody Valentine and Animal Collective.

The album's first single, the electronic "Have You Seen In Your Dreams," is one of the more upbeat tunes on the album, but that doesn't mean this is going to be on your workout mix on your iPod. Instead it slowly builds into a layered, swirling and twisting concoction that bleeds into "Next Train." The '60s pop comes full throttle on "Maybe Lately," with pitch perfect harmonies and a mid-tempo drum beat. One of the best songs, "Beach Baby," sprawls along with a minute and a half opener before cascading guitars and gentle vocals paint the rest of the picture; definitely one for headphones. There are also some instrumental tracks as well, including the shoegazer opener "Whins," and the cerebral, trippy "Five Roses."

Miracle Fortress isn't one of those Canadian bands that gets in your face and makes you love them. Instead it creeps up quietly behind you while you are sleeping and fills your head with postcards from loved ones and images from another place and time.

"Have You Seen In Your Dreams" MP3

Secret City Records

Five Roses