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House - Released April 17, 2020 | Arbutus Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released October 19, 2018 | Arbutus Records

Following a decade spent exploring pop's more cerebral corners as Miracle Fortress, Canadian musician Graham Van Pelt slims down to electronic minimalism on Time Travel, his first release under his own name. Where his previous projects (Miracle Fortress, Inside Touch, Think About Life) dabbled in a wide array of indie styles from textural psych-pop to dance-rock and club music, the Montreal native's first proper solo outing uses a deliberately limited palette to achieve what essentially feels like an intimate singer/songwriter album. In the same way that Arthur Russell (a noted influence) often paired low-key midtempo dance music with deeply reflective songwriting, Van Pelt uses little more than the sequencer of his vintage Roland SH-101 synth to build a warm little house around his musings on aging, friendships, matters of the heart, and his relocation from Montreal to Toronto. That latter concept forms the basis of the lovely "Mountainside," a wistful highlight in which Van Pelt gazes fondly backward at his previous home and the roads that led him to this more tranquil space in life. The ghost of Arthur Russell drifts in and out of cuts like "New Friends" and "Saving Grace," as Van Pelt's pleasing voice incants nuggets of his philosophy over pulsing beats while echoes of bands like the Blue Nile can be heard in other tracks like the excellent "One Thing." Like a fleeting half-hour of December sunset pouring through a window, Time Travel invokes similar feelings of contemplative warmth and well-being. © Timothy Monger /TiVo