|Identity is a complex thing. The need to define ourselves drives us forward in so many ways there is a danger we forget who we are completely, defining ourselves by the smallest part of who we actually are. This is a lesson Marc Bianchi has recently learnt and this wonderful new album is the result. Ditching the electronica of the past, Her Space Holiday is discovering his former self with old-school songwriting. This is his New Kid Revival.|
Hailing from California, Her Space Holiday has been Marc Bianchi's solo project since 1996. A previous member of hardcore groups Indian Summer and Mohinder, Marc has released a hefty handful of electronica albums in the past 12 years. Moving from hardcore to electronica to, now, folk-pop is a significant step to say the least. However, having been picked up by MySpace as a featured band, it's starting to pay off.
Akin to Conor Oberst doing the Eels on happy pills, this is toe-tapping, head nodding, shoulder swaying folk-pop fun. From first track, "New Kid Revival," Marc acknowledges his change of direction and is staunchly defiant:
"Lets start the New Kid Revival / we'll make it up as we go along / and if they tell us that we're doing it wrong / we'll just turn up the sound / just turn up the sound of our songs"
From here on themes of childhood innocence, hope, identity and love are explored in a mix of acoustic guitars, melodies, handclaps and tambourines. Lyrically Marc is clearly taking home philosophy 101. With songs full of contemplations, musings and reflections, he appears to be looking to bargain his peace with the world. Take 'The Day In Review' for an example, we are advised "If life is one big symphony / don't play your part too cautiously / let your fingers make mistakes / the crowd will love you for being brave". Against a backdrop of finger snaps and gentle picking this can be surprisingly life-affirming in a cold winter night. It won't exactly give Nietzsche a run for his money, but there's many a wise word in here that we may tend to forget.
Musically, XOXO Panda and the New Kid Revival won't be grabbing you by the short and curlies, except to dance around in a big ol' barn. However, this isn't an album intent on breaking musical barriers, but a musical blog of someone doing some serious self-reflection and revolution. For this reason alone it is a treasure to listen to. - Supersweet