The Most Serene Republic
By: Jessica Grose
It’s nice to have a band that’s as unabashedly nerdy as the Most Serene Republic. Visually, they are the co-ed equivalent of They Might Be Giants: Glasses and earnest smiles abound in their press photos. Aurally, they are a lush, spacey hybrid of the Postal Service and the Broken Social Scene, and all the hype they’ve been getting because of their connection with the latter (Most Serene Republic and BSS are on the same label, Canada’s Arts & Crafts) is more than warranted.
Underwater Cinematographer, the band’s debut album, is told like a story. The opening and closing tracks are otherworldly instrumentals called “Prologue” and “Epilogue,” respectively, and the penultimate track begins with a voice shouting, “Wait! There’s just one more thing!” The highlights of this very ambitious album are “(Oh) God,” an uptempo song where the band cops to its nerdiness with lyrics like, “Even this overpass sees more traffic than us,” and the excessively titled “The Protagonist Suddenly Realizes What He Must Do in the Middle of Downtown Traffic.”
The whimsy and precociousness of this first effort recall the same spirit as Wes Anderson; the record posseses a narrative that seems to be an analog of The Royal Tennenbaums. Needless to say, a comparison to that bard of the new millennium ranks among the highest hipster praise imaginable, and the Most Serene Republic — six friends from Milton, Ontario — deserve no faint praise for their ambitions.
The Most Serene Republic is currently touring their native Canada:
7/24, Guelph, ON (Hillside Festival)8/10, Vancouver, BC (The Media Club)8/12, Calgary, AB (The Warehouse)*8/13, Edmonton, AB (The Starlite Room)*8/14, Saskatoon, SK (Louis Pub)*8/15, Winnipeg, MB (West End Cultural Centre)*(* with Pretty Girls Make Graves)