Five Roses (Rough Trade)
Miracle Fortress is really just one man, the sickeningly talented 23-year-old Graham Van Pelt. Actually, ‘miracle fortress’ is a good way of describing what debut album Five Roses sounds like - not so much a collection of songs as a matched set of meditations on a love affair, each of which builds into a huge, euphoric, Spector-ly Wall of Sound. It’s an extraordinarily textured sound reminiscent of his fellow Montrealians Arcade Fire, integrating tiny chimes, the whirr of a helicopter rotor, massed clapping and an old man chuckling into the swirling whole rather than slapping on samples for the sake of it. There’s something of the Beach Boys about the dreamy, distant vocals, too, although the airiness of even the simplest repeated love lyric is compressed out as each track reaches an intense climax. The album might be on its way out, but Five Roses is definitely something that should be experienced as a whole.