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Graham Van Pelt: Mountainside

The former Miracle Fortress mainman has just released a debut solo album. This new single has a drifting and dreamy feel, with languid vocals placed atop a recurring pattern of sparse beats.

Graham Van Pelt: Mountainside

By Kerry Doole

Graham Van Pelt: "Mountainside " (Arbutus Records): This Toronto-based artist has just released his debut solo album, Time Travel, but he is already well-known on the Canadian indie scene as the leader of Miracle Fortress, a Montreal band that received plenty of attention and made the Polaris Prize shortlist.


Time Travel is the first record Van Pelt has made since relocating to Toronto four years ago, and this is the third single from the album. 

Van Pelt explains in a label press release that “‘Mountainside’ is an exceptional song for me, one of the songs I enjoy singing the most. For this video, Toronto’s Fuego Collective zeroed in on the themes of growth, maturation and generational change. On set, but outside of the frame, we had many heirlooms from different stages of my life, which the directors used to prompt certain emotional states and reminiscences in me as we moved through the moments in the song. I think they captured a pretty revealing portrait as a result. I’m extremely proud of this video and song and am happy to have it as a marker of this stage of my emotional life for years to come.”

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There's a drifting and dreamy feel to the track, with Van Pelt's languid vocals placed atop a recurring pattern of sparse beats. It showcases Van Pelt's shift into the electronica/dance realm on this album. He built Time Travel from the bottom up, rooting every track in the sequencer of the Roland SH-101 synth, a decades-old dance music totem. The resulting sound is warm and melodic, with something of a classic synth-pop feel. 

Time Travel was engineered by twin brothers Mark and Matt Thibideau, a duo with techno roots.

Van Pelt begins North American dates (some supporting Suuns)  in Brooklyn on Nov. 7. The tour includes shows in Montreal, Toronto and Hamilton.

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Publicity: Killbeat Music kb@killbeatmusic.com

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