January 31, 2008

Miracle Fortress - Five Roses - Secret City Records

Artist - Miracle Fortress
Title - Five Roses
Label - Secret City Records
Hometown - Montreal, Canada
Street Date - Out now

Bath taking isn’t exactly a secret pleasure of mine but it isn’t really one of those things I talk much about to friends no less strangers. Feeding my addiction to this relaxing past time has been a company called Lush from whom I mail order fresh handmade bath products just about quarterly. The trouble with them is they change up their catalog frequently so just when you fall in love with one of their products (in this case it was a bath bomb called No Worry Pas) they stop making it and replace it with something new.

First off what is a bath bomb you might be asking and what the hell does it have to do with a record review? A bath bomb is a giant ball of fizzy goodness and essential oils. You pop it into a filled tub and instantly it starts melting away like an Alka-Seltzer tab releasing fantastic smelling oils and occasionally dispensing things like flower pedals, seaweed, glitter, and or colorful confetti bits. The No Worry Pas bomb is difficult to explain because it didn’t really smell like the ingredients listed on its label of which I have now forgotten. What I do recall is the instant joy and pleasure it gave me. It smelled like baking bread being hugged by a giant comforter freshly washed and just pulled from the dryer. The scent and feeeeeel of cozy is a wonderful thing and the cruel people at Lush have taken this ever important sanity keeping product away from me. I've gone months without this bomb now and have been desperate to find something that blankets me in a similarly warm and snuggly fashion ever since.

This is where Miracle Fortress enters from stage left. Listening to a CD can be a bathing- like experience. The sounds and the core essence it is composed of wash over you- not just your ears but your entire body. I’ve been disappointed with reviews of this record so far (Pitchfork I am looking at you) because they fail to highlight the calming meditative melodies and warming layers of fuzzy goodness this record emits. This is more elegant than your typical shoegaze band and while I know people like to use Beach Boys references for Miracle Fortress, there are more modern day associations to apply here. White Birch, Rogue Wave, Aloha, Lavender Diamond, The Ruby Sons, and The Clientele all belong to that same dreamy club of textured sunshine pop that cast soft shadows along the way.

As coincidence would have it both Lush mail orders (back in the day) and Miracle Fortress come to me by way of Canada. Oh Canada!

It’s nearly impossible to say why it feels more like I am wearing this record than listening to it but ultimately this is how I embrace Miracle Fortress or I should say this is how Five Roses embraces me.


  1. Anonymous 2/9/08, 3:48 PM

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  2. thanks to put me that band in my head! canada? haha, cool. Young Galaxy is a nice band too. check it out!