Her Space Holiday – s/t

Rating: ★★★½☆

It seems like just yesterday that Marc Bianchi began his Her Space Holiday career, when in fact it was 15 years ago.  Finally, the sun is setting on the project, and with this close, Marc’s releasing his final album with the moniker, Her Space Holiday.  It’s perhaps his most complete work, leaving us all with one final album, but so many memories.

“Anything for Progress” begins with a soft-spoken Bianchi singing over light instrumentation; it’s a solemn beginning for a farewell.  But, as the drums march in, arrangements rise and fall, giving us a splendid pop venture fitting for our goodbye as Marc sings “this is all I know.”  Even with the sadness of giving up Her Space Holiday, the explosion of joy and melody at the end of the track is evidence that Mr. Bianchi has come to terms with his decision, aiming to go out with one last momentous affair.  He even follows this up with “Black Cat Balloons,” a song that seems to follow with similar construction.  Gentle beginning, exuberant chorus, wash, rinse, repeat; well played sir.

Despite the bright beginnings, there are some more somber moments throughout Her Space Holiday, though they eventually evolve into well-crafted pop.  “The Candle Jumped Over the Spoon” offers up lightly strummed guitar, Marc’s quiet singing, nice female accompaniment, but it really takes off with the influence of accordion, turing the quiet affair into a piece of swinging good fun.  It’s interesting, as none of the tunes on this record completely give into one style or genre, even with prolonged entries.  Like the aforementioned tune, “The Bullet, The Battle, The Trigger, The Barrel and Me,” presents us with some quiet time with Bianchi, but it can’t last forever, can it?  Well, in short, the song ends with a burst of light, stomping until the sound has subsided.

Perhaps one of the best things about Her Space Holiday is the attention to detail; every sound is purposeful, being used to flesh out each song.  It’s made Bianchi one of the stronger songwriters, oft-overlooked by his peers.  Hopefully as the curtain closes on this chapter of his life he’ll finally receive some recognition for this characteristic.  “Death of a Writer” employs subtle touches of string arrangements, and while it would be easy to see this as fanciful fleshing out of bare tunes, it’s clear that Marc left space in the music for such bursts of accompaniment.  It could be horns, strings, backing vocals; it could even be empty space, but it’s there for a reason: that’s craftsmanship.

I’m sure that somewhere in the future we’ll hear from Marc Bianchi again, and we’ll all be grateful for his return.  That being said, it’s sad to say goodbye to something that has been a part of our lives for so long, especially when it’s executed as well as we find on the last proper release of Her Space Holiday.  We bid you a fond farewell, and we hope to see you soon.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/01-Black-Cat-Balloons.mp3]

Download: Her Space Holiday – Black Cat Balloons [MP3]

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