After fifteen years of crafting some of the most unique electronic indie music, Marc Bianchi has decided to end his project Her Space Holiday with the release of a final self-titled album.
Bianchi is giving Her Space Holiday one last hurrah on his own label, No More Good Ideas. Hailing from here in California, Her Space Holiday has seen critical acclaim and toured with such artists as Bright Eyes, The Faint, Pinback, and Bob Mould, but last year, when Bianchi was performing in Japan, he felt the end was near. “I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I could tell that there was definitely something looming in the background,” Bianchi explained to Magnet Magazine. “As soon as I stepped on stage to perform, I realized that ‘it’ just wasn’t there anymore.” Over the last eighteen months, Bianchi built off several song sketches and penned ten tracks to create his final release as Her Space Holiday.
This eponymous album encapsulates several different musical styles, from electronic to indie to pop. It begins with “Anything For Progress,” a lighthearted, playful song that opens with Bianchi’s instantly recognizable talk-singing. Binachi may not be the best singer, but he creates melodies that give him room to breathe. The steady beat of a marching band snare drum enters along with a triumphant horn section, and the song sounds as if Her Space Holiday is parading down the street for one last celebration.
“Black Cat Balloons” opens with space-like synthesizers. Bianchi speak-sings the verses but gang vocals join him on the chorus, “If we all said sorry and tried to mean it / would that make things cool between us?” I’m not a huge fan of his half-spoken singing, but it somehow works here due to Bianchi’s cadence over hip-hop-influenced beats.
“Bitter Hearts (with one foot in the grave)” showcases lyrics from and inspired by Knesset’s “Bitter Hearts.” Originally, label mates Knesset asked Bianchi to cover the song as a bonus track on a Japanese release, but the lyrics struck a chord with Bianchi, who asked if he could build off the song’s concept while preserving his favorite lines. The end product is bright, bobbing music with starkly contrasting lyrics as Bianchi announces, “I hope in the end I’m bitter enough to burn, burn, burn down my heart.”
Two songs on the album that are perfect examples of Her Space Holiday’s patented formula of happy, upbeat songs and heavy, emotional lyrics are “Anything for Destruction” and “Come On All You Soldiers.” The first is a dark lullaby that opens with a gently plucked acoustic guitar over a thumping electronic beat. On the track, Bianchi sings about humanity’s desire to destroy everything, repeating the phrase, “We’ll do anything for destruction.” The artist is joined by lighthearted gang vocals on “Come On All You Soldiers,” and he again favors repetition with the line, “We all are…” over that marching band beat, which is joined by a high-pitched chorus.
“Ghost In The Garden” and “Death Of A Writer” showcase Bianchi’s talent for manipulating samples and layering synthesizer sounds to create full, dizzying tracks. The album comes to a close with “In The Time It Takes For The Lights To Change,” a semi-waltz with background music reminiscent of a carnival carousel. It’s a slow goodbye to fans, as Bianchi sings in the final chorus, “In the time it takes to throw in the towel, your life can be washed clean of those fires…you’re breaking through, you’re here, you’re alive and brand new.”
While there is no doubt Bianchi will continue making music, he ends his project Her Space Holiday on a unquestionably high note. Whether you are new to HSH’s distinctive sound or are a devoted Bianchi fan, pick up this album and savor the last bite of Her Space Holiday’s sugary, indietronic pop.
Her Space Holiday track listing:
01. Anything For Progress
02. Black Cat Balloons
04. The Hummingbirds
05. Come On All You Soldiers
06. The Candle Jumped Over The Spoon
07. Ghost In The Garden
08. The Bullet, The Battle, The Trigger, The Barrel And Me
09. Death Of A Writer
10. In The Time It Takes For The Lights To Change
For more on Her Space Holiday: