Last year everybody made a really big stink about that Panda Bear album. It was pretty poppy and kinda weird and it was made by one of the guys in Animal-Collective, who are the official "band-that-everybody-likes-for-no-explicable-reason."
But everybody was so busy jumping on that bandwagon (pun!) that no one bothered to mention that the Panda Bear album has exactly TWO (okay, maybe THREE) actual living/breathing/pleasurable-to-listen-to songs on it. The rest of it consists of a guy hitting a drum while turning some knobs and hooting and hollering into a toilet paper tube. Don't, get me wrong, I love a toilet paper tube hollering session as much as the next guy, but is this really ALBUM OF THE YEAR stuff?
That's where Miracle Fortress comes in. Miracle Fortress is the Beach Boys to Panda Bear's...um...less good Beach Boys. I suppose it's really more of a yin/yang thing. Panda Bear is the wild, unshaven artist and Miracle Fortress is still unshaven but at least he combed his hair and buttoned his shirt.
Five Roses was one of my favorite records of 2007 and I really can't think of a better new-ish album to be listening to when it's sunny out.
Oh, and if you live in the Seattle-area and watch television, you probably hear the song "Maybe Lately" about 20 times a day because it's in an advertisement for the Clean Forest and Rivers Initiative or something similarly Northwest-y.
Download the album here