Published Nov 17, 2015Ten years ago, in a golden age of indie rock, the Most Serene Republic released their debut album, Underwater Cinematographer, through Arts & Crafts. It was a release that, for better or worse, garnered them comparisons to label mates Broken Social Scene. As the Most Serene Republic grew up, their smart and musically diverse universe did as well, expanding with each subsequent recording. Although it's been five years since the band released new material, that universe hasn't collapsed, and by the sounds of their return, it's as fascinating as ever.
Mediac, the Most Serene Republic's fourth LP, is loosely a concept record. Jumping from one time signature and mind-space to another, their restless arrangements match the collective consciousness of living through your 20s and 30s. The buoyant, horn-punctuated instrumentation of "Ontario Morning" (with its Orwellian lyric "Newspeak is the thrill") can't hide the anxiousness within, while the consumer awareness evoked alongside the stringed twirls of "Capitalist Waltz" is also fraught. Even with the lethargic lyrics in highlight "Nation of Beds" or the darker mood of "The Feels," both songs are a flurry of activity, showing the still-bright hues of the band's collective heart. (MapleMusic)