The blip-heavy indie-pop from Canada’s The Most Serene Republic—the first non-Broken Social Scene-related band signed to Arts & Crafts—was initially introduced with 2005’s completely giddy, insane “Underwater Cinematographer,” a baffling, but enjoyable, exercise in bubblegum IDM. (The shifts in signatures, not to mention the layering of vocals and general electronic tidbits, goes well overboard in a confounding, but amusing, way.) The new record, “Population,” features a “more mature” band—less crazy-for-crazy’s sake, the record’s sound, while still joyous and gargantuan, is actually reined in at moments. Lyrically, it’s dark as hell—some tough times must’ve hit these guys over the last two years. That incongruity, between sound and meaning, this mash-up of conflicting thoughts and soundwaves, is what makes the record special, an improvement on the band’s debut and yet another pleasing excretion from Arts & Crafts. Live, the band’s expectedly nuts—you’ll have a good time. (Tom Lynch)
The Most Serene Republic plays December 8 at Beat Kitchen, 2100 West Belmont, (773)281-4444, at 9:30pm. $10.