Monday, November 29, 2010

newmusicmonday #71:: The Most Serene Republic

image:: The Most Serene Republic, MySpace

Genrealt rock/pop
MembersSimon Lukasewich
Ryan Lenssen
Adrian Jewett
Nick Greaves
Sean Woolven
Adam Balsam
CityMilton, ON, Canada
Upcoming Tour Dates[dates]
1 December:: The Mod Club, Toronto


I was surfing CBCr3 and stumbled on The Most Serene Republic, the first band signed to Arts & Crafts that had no connection to BSS whatsoever. The video for the poppy "Heavens to Purgatory" {below} caught my eye with its surreal disembodiments. If you listen to tracks from their 2009 '...And the Ever Expanding Universe' in contrast from their earlier work, you'll hear a clearer sound. Pitchfork attributes that to producer Dave Newfield. I can see/hear that and also agree that the sound is "gorgeous sounding". The band made a conscious decision to go in a new direction with the last album, Lenssen states on their website::
“I want it to sound like Motown, like Diana Ross and the Supremes, because indie-rock is done; that sound was pretty much 2002-2005. I wanted to do something that could also communicate with our parents because they have great musical taste. Before we went into this, Kevin [Drew of Broken Social Scene] was like, ‘Fuck Toronto; make a record for the world.’ If you can pay homage to geniuses and get a new audience to pay attention to old sounds, that’s about the most flattering thing you can do for those past generations. And I want to keep it fresh for ourselves.” 

The video, directed by Ben Steigler-Levine, was nominated for a Juno for Video of the Year.

Here's a live version at NxNE in 2009::

The following two videos are for tracks from their "Underwater Cinema" début album from 2005. The sound is layered and dense.

"Content Was Always My Favourite Colour"::

"Oh God"::

Here's a 2009 Side B interview with Lenssen and Jewett describing the band's shift and their philosophy::

They have a show on Wednesday at the Mod Club and I might try to check it out. Vocalist/guitarist Emma Ditchburn left the band last year, so I'm curious hearing their sound in her absence. In listening to the band's songs, I felt that Ditchburn's vocals helped bring things together, which might be big shoes to fill.

I'll leave you with "Phi" from last year's NxNE Arts and Crafts showcase::

Twitterversion:: [blog+videos] #newmusicmonday featuring The Most Serene Republic {@TMSR}. Upcoming #Toronto Mod Club show on 1 Dec. @Prof_K

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