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The Most Serene Republic, ‘Population’ (Arts&Crafts)

This orchestral art-pop sextet from the Toronto suburbs up the triumphant racket on their second album, sounding as if labelmates Broken Social Scene recruited Polyphonic Spree’s Tim DeLaughter and his giddy cohorts to sing and shout along. Except for one capable foray into cool jazz (“A Mix of Sun and Clouds”) and one somnambulant string interlude (“Agenbite of Inwit”), these tracks are more concerned with mass than melody. Barely-there intros rise into warm, weighty epics, cluttered impressively with a clamoring assortment of keyboards, rallying horns, whispering reverb, and other (sometimes literal) bells and whistles.

Now Hear This: The Most Serene Republic – “Present of Future End” DOWNLOAD MP3