Release Date: Aug 16, 2011
Record label: No More Good Ideas
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Marc Bianchi's decision to wrap up Her Space Holiday seemed to come out of the blue, but the self-titled conclusion serves as a gentle, appropriate valediction, something that simultaneously draws on the understated bedroom pop that he first made his name with while feeling like a big, final bow, scaled to a stage or a screen. In a way, given how many acts seem to be all about the theatrical presentation and feel over recent years, hearing Bianchi's performance on "Anything for Progress" feels like both a nod to that kind of approach, and a way to reclaim it, strings and horns and drums all swirling around his quick, sprightly vocal, building to a big finish. "Black Cat Balloons" switches between softly whispered verses, quiet guitar, a gentle sense of space, and big, many-voiced choruses, all of which play off the two extremes nicely.
Her Space Holiday’s Marc Bianchi has always been a little preoccupied with death. One of his earliest albums was named Home Is Where You Hang Yourself so it’s no surprise that Bianchi’s self-titled final album as Her Space Holiday is more obsessed with mortality than ever. The following is a partial list of words that appear on Her Space Holiday some multiple times: Broken, Burn, Choke, Coffin, Death, Demons, Die, Eulogy, Fever, Fire, Flame, Funeral, Ghost, Goodbye, Grave, Harm, Haunted, Hell, Kill, Lifeless, Pain, Ruin, Scar, Self-abuse, Self-destruction.
With confessional songs like “The Luxury of Loneliness” and “Home Is Where You Hang Yourself”, Her Space Holiday has always been very much Marc Bianchi’s cathartic solo project. Naturally, then, the first song on his project-titled LP opens with “She tells me that time/Will heal all our wounds/She shows me the scar/Where the arrow went through. ” But the ensuing cacophony of voices, drum crashes (courtesy of Bianchi’s former Indian Summer bandmate, Eyad Kaileh), flutes, violins, and horns seems uncharacteristic, to say the least.
Curiously enough, Marc Bianchi, a.k.a. Her Space Holiday, started out in the 90s hardcore scene in California, playing in various bands until eventually settling into a solo act and delving into, at the time, peculiar if not appealing, aimless excursions in ‘soft, sweet electronics’ by the end of the decade. But throughout his run as Her Space Holiday — has it really been 10 years since the project began? — Bianchi has almost consistently demonstrated a talent for affective, and occasionally heartfelt, storytelling in albums such as Home Is Where You Hang Yourself (2000), The Young Machines (2003), and The Past Presents The Future (2005).
At South by Southwest last spring, Marc Bianchi announced the end of Her Space Holiday, the project he's helmed for more than a decade and which helped usher the rise of electro-pop. HSH arguably peaked mid-decade with 2003's The Young Machines and 2005's The Past Presents the Future, two exquisitely personal and intricate albums that tracked the heartbreak, angst, and existential technophilia accompanying Bianchi's move from Austin to California. Now back in Austin, he releases his final salvo as Her Space Holiday in an attempt to encompass the history of the project while looking decidedly forward, playing as much off the band arrangements of 2008's XOXO, Panda and the New Kid Revival as his early lap-pop stylings.