|MH-260 Her Space Holiday - XOXO, Panda And The New Kid Revival
Putting some space between himself and the computer that has provided the basis for so much of his recent work, Marc Bianchi has taken the last two years to focus on what got him into music in the first place, writing connective songs and working out the layers of sound he hears in his head. The results are a new persona, XOXO, Panda, and the reinforcement of the feelings of personal and artistic freedom that drive his music. Loose and carefree arrangements of guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, shakers, glockenspiel, and drums lay the foundation for vocal storytelling sing-a-longs. XOXO, Panda And The New Kid Revival is a brilliant calling card for Her Space Holiday’s newly awakened alter-ego, and a watershed moment in his growth as a songwriter and performer.
|Guitar pop songs that are as charming as they are simple - Rolling Stone / That he can switch up styles so frequently and make solid records says something special about Bianchi - Pop Matters / Melodies have that wonderful undefinable quality that makes you want to hear them over and over... Killer indie pop cuts - Babysue|
|In a nutshell...|
Foot tapping, finger snapping fun.
What's it all about?
For fans of the band like myself, first hearing this album will more than likely put you into a complete and utter state of shock.
Marc Bianchi, the mastermind behind Her Space Holiday, has abandoned the synchronized digital production method that had previously defined the group's music. In result, Her Space comes through with an album with a lighter sound that is full of snap happy acoustics and blissfully engaging lyrics from track to track.
This 14-track fest of acoustic melodies is filled with the always wondrous and endearing lyrical poetry of Marc Bianchi, who sings joyously of dancing with two left feet to songs of empathy for the lonely.
Bianchi, of course, has a better way of describing the range of subjects featured on his new album stating on his website that "a single hand can write several stories".
This album is sure to have you bobbing your head and smiling with satisfaction from start to finish.
Who's it by?
Emerging from California, Marc Bianchi was in two bands (Indian Summer and Mohinder) before forming Her Space Holiday in 1996. Since this time, the band has released six full-length albums, a handful of EPs, and a remix album. Their previous works consist of what has been aptly classified as 'indietronic', which can be described as indie music that is heavily influenced and manipulated with computer generated electronic music. Think of the beats provided by Air and Death in Vegas, add a dash of unbelievably charming lyrics, monotone vocals, and a clear picture of their sound emerges.
However, in their new release, this description does not apply! It would be fair to compare this new sound to Modest Mouse, Weezer, and Death Cab for Cutie, and other indie/alternative acts.
There is no real way to say whether or not this album is better or worse than their former albums, only because XOXO Panda... sounds so completely and utterly different than what came before it. Despite their change in style, the step away from electronic indie rock to a much barer and traditional sound is creative, daring, and quite complimentary to the group's previous works.
One thing that is consistent with this new album and Her Space's former works is that Bianchi continues to funnel out achingly beautiful lyrics that can easily put your heart and mind in a fired frenzy of contentment and awe.
As an example...
"You've got your pen and pencil/I'm in a paper dreamYou should come write all over me/And we'll give them something to read." - The New Kid Revival
Likelihood of a trip to the Grammys
In all fairness, Her Space Holiday has been around for a long time, and while they have released an impressive collection of highly innovative and original music, there is more than likely no chance that this album will be marching into any Grammy nomination letters.
Having already been released in Bianchi's native America earlier this month, the album has received solid reviews and much critical acclaim.
With a trustful indie following already tooting behind them, XOXO Panda... has the potential to be a cult classic. It also has the potential to help the group obtain a larger fan base as they embark on a new method of musical production.
What the others say
"Easily the best feel good album in a long time." – Under the Gun
"The fact that he can switch up styles so frequently and make solid records says something special about Bianchi." – Pop Matters
So is it any good?
While Bianchi may certainly not have the vocal prowess of Mariah Carey, or even a calming and soothing voice to accompany the free flowing acoustics that are poured out in this new release, there is a way that everything seems to be fluent and make sense in its final composition.
This is the kind of music you want to hear when you have a long journey ahead of you be it by plane, train, or automobile; the kind of music you want to hear when you are sitting in the comfort of your flat with your best mates... wherever you are, this disc becomes the perfect soundtrack.
Just like in any CD, there are of course a few songs worth taking a deeper listen to than others. For instance, One For mM Soul (Good Night), with its infectious chime-filled melody, to "Four Tapping Shoes and a Kiss," which will surely have you up and dancing about.
The only real criticism I can assign to this record is that some of the songs seem to blend into each other, making it hard for a listener to distinguish between them.
Even if this music does not appeal to your tastes, after hearing this album, one thing is for sure; you will still come out green with envy for Bianchi's ability to translate life into the exquisite poetry that it truly is. - In The News UK