CMW 2011: Miracle Fortress @ Lee's Palace by Adam Bunch

I think it's probably safe to assume that most fans of Miracle Fortress are fans of Miracle Fortress because of Five Roses, the band's first, and so far only, full-length record. It was after all, shortlisted for the 2007 Polaris Prize. It's something of a delicate pop album, filled with up-tempo beats, to be sure, but also lush Beach Boys-inspired harmonies and soft, infectious melodies. If that's the kind of sound the fans who trudged through the cold rain to catch their set on Thursday night were expecting,  tough, they were going to be disappointed.

Graham Van Pelt, the mastermind behind the Montreal group (and also a member of Think About Life), appeared on stage shrouded in darkness expect for a few dim, multi-coloured lights. And all he brought with him was a drummer and songs off a yet-to-be-released album. I'm pretty sure they didn't play anything off Five Roses. There were no harmonies. No delicate melodies. Instead, they delivered stripped-down, danceable tracks, which weren't a bad intro for Young Galaxy, who were to come later in the night, but left this Miracle Fortress fan who loved the last album suspecting that the new one won't hold the same kind of place in his heart.

Photos: Adam Bunch

Adam Bunch is the Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project. He's been on the Polaris Prize jury, lectured at Trampoline Hall and written for PopMatters, Crawdaddy!, 24 Hours and a whole bunch of other places. You can read his posts here, follow him on Twitter here, or email him at


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