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Album Review

The Most Serene Republic, '...And the Ever Expanding Universe'

July 20, 2009
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Indie Pop
The Most Serene Republic ...And the Ever Expanding Universe
Arts & Crafts
ESSENTIAL “Bubble Reputation 1’’

By now it’d be more newsworthy to come across an indie band that isn’t somehow descended from the celestial orbit of the omnipresent Broken Social Scene hive mind. This fellow Canadian septet shares more than a few concerns with that prematurely seminal group (although no members), including a record label, an expansive, orchestral indie pop aesthetic and, one suspects, similar seating arrangement issues in the van. On this, the band’s third full length, it also employs the production of BSS veteran David Newfield. There’s certainly a lot here to produce: hazy electronics, busy drum patterns, triumphant horns, stabbing strings, coed vocal interplay, piano, banjo, and all manner of bells and whistles (sometimes literally) focused in harmony then dispersing like sunlight through a cloud. Instrumental compositions like the eclectically conceptual “Patternicity 1’’ are interesting diversions, but it’s on the hard-charging “Don’t Hold Back, Feel a Little Longer’’ where rhythm and airy tonal elements play off one another in steady, galloping contrast, and the breezy, swinging “Vessels of a Donor Look 2’’ that the band comes closest to pop economy. (Out now) LUKE O’NEIL