For 15 years, indietronica wizard Marc Bianchi has been quietly—perhaps too quietly—crafting bedroom pop for intelligent and sensitive shut-ins. Now, with a self-released and self-titled album of lush, baroque indie rock, Bianchi puts to rest the commercially un-ambitious but artistically influential project he started in 1996.
Indeed, it wasn't that long ago that Her Space Holiday drew comparisons to avant-rock bands like Radiohead, Spiritualized, and The Magnetic Fields. Whereas these artists continued to deconstruct pop formula with celebrated results, Bianchi instead mastered the pop formula, developing into a melodic and lyrical ace on par with the best Elephant 6 bands, like Beulah or Apples in Stereo.
Listening to what I assume is his last effort under the Holiday moniker, absorbing his fey yet confident vocals and effortless ability to conjure brave new sonic worlds with just a few otherworldly keyboard lines, I'm struck by how much acclaimed bands like The Postal Service owe to Bianchi. Still, Holiday has always pursued exploration; this album is no different, from the moody, string-laden waltz of "In the Time It Takes for the Lights to Change," to the rousing, chamber-orchestra-crammed-into-a barroom anthem of "Come on All You Soldiers."
There's so much to admire in every song here that I am waiting impatiently for Bianchi's vacation to end.