Miracle Fortress' 2011 effort, Was I the Wave?, is a dreamy and hypnotic set of experimental shoegaze and synth pop. Picking up where 2007's Five Roses left off, Was I the Wave? once again finds frontman Graham Van Pelt drawing on various touchstones, including the chimey guitar pop of Yo La Tengo, the ambient rock of My Bloody Valentine, and even some '60s psych-pop flourishes à la the United States of America. The difference this time out is that, while some of the tracks here take a minute to build out of their atmospheric guitar and keyboard intros, many of the tracks have an '80s synthy and drum machine-heavy dance-pop quality that is more catchy and new wave than experimental. To these ends, listeners get the Human League meets New Order-sounding "Tracers," the buoyant and yearning "Raw Spectacle," and the Phoenix-esque "Immanent Domain." Experimental while always pop-oriented and engaging, Was I the Wave? is a great summer afternoon album for chilling at the beach or day-driving with friends.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar