|Most Likely To: get attention for all the right reasons.|
In 1996, Marc Bianchi adopted the moniker Her Space Holiday and left his past in the California hardcore scene behind. Bianchi, who is HSH’s only permanent member, has been so good for so long that he probably could have kept doing the same thing indefinitely. Instead he changed his approach to songwriting and recording on his most recent release XOXO, Panda & the New Kid Revival. Bianchi debuted this new approach on the Sleepy Tiger EP he released earlier this year. On both records he steps away from electronic experimentation in favor of well-crafted pop songs and voilà–it turns out that Bianchi can write hooky sing-alongs that still feel modern and meaningful, but never hokey.
As a singer-songwriter, Bianchi sounds a bit like Normal Years-era Doug Martsch with a John Darnielle obsession. His lyrics often describe a romantic who is hopelessly realistic, as on “The Heartbreak Moment:” “I used to think that being alone would simplify my life / but I really know my heart and I can hear yours beat with mine” or “Sleepy Tiger:” “If I’ve learned anything at all / in this short life of mine / if you hear that joy has come to town / track it down and take a picture and / tape it to your eyes.”
Musically, Bianchi’s strength is still in the details, but the type of details have changed from bedroom electro pop to something much more organic. As Bianchi says on “The Heartbreak Moment,” he wants to be “pounding on piano keys / and strumming on old copper strings.” From the banjo on “The Truth Hurts So This Should Be Painless” to the distorted guitar of “The Telescope,” Bianchi fleshes out his songs in all the right places.
XOXO proves that experimentation can pay off. Bianchi’s move to acoustic pop is brilliant. Oddly, Bianchi gained maturity by sounding more twee, something that usually seems juvenile, but in the right hands just feels sweet. - The Donnybrook Writing Academy