Her Space Holiday - Sleepy Tigers EP
Dear Her Space Holiday (Marc Bianchi): Oh I like you so very much.
Ever since my favorite local band, Beulah, broke up in 2003, there has been an empty place in my heart waiting for another charming local Bay Area indie-pop band to fill the void. While I've always been an enormous, bordering on obsessive, Her Space Holiday fan, Marc Bianchi's music has always been more on the indie-electro, indietronica--if you will, side of the fence. It is with great certainty, though, that I report with Sleepy Tigers (and Marc's return to the Bay) the hole in my heart has been filled with wonderful indie-pop goodness!
Sleepy Tigers is a teaser of what's to come from Her Space Holiday's forthcoming album, XOXO, Panda and the New Kid Revival, which hopefully will prove just as, if not more, successful than Sleepy Tigers. The four-song sampler was released on July 29 on Mush Records, and expands the label's catalog a bit further than their usual electro-hip hop blend of releases. Her Space Holiday, having joined the label after "leaving" Tiger Style, is a loyal member of the Mush family, so it's a pleasure to see Sleepy Tigers broaden their scope of releases into the more straight-up indie-pop realm.
The opening title track, "Sleepy Tigers" is almost like a b-side to a lost Beulah record. That's not to say Marc's ripped-off a page out of the Beulah songbook, it just means he wrote an amazingly warm, jangly pop song that is beyond contagious. Not to mention that Marc actually sounds a bit like Miles Kurosky, which I failed to notice before. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that Marc is fairly self-conscious about his vocal abilities, hiding them with production or behind his electronic-pop backdrops. Not so on this album though, Marc is more straight-forward with his vocals, letting them share equal billing with his smile-evoking sunshiney pop music.
I have always felt that Her Space Holiday's songs have an adolescent quality, expressing feelings of hope, insecurities and eagerness, especially those that make up The Young Machines and Manic Expressive. On Sleepy Tigers, Marc reverts even further to create a very carefree, childlike-sound, teetering on the verge of twee pop with the use of chimes, xylophones, hand-claps, "nah-nah-nahs" and of course, tambourines. Thankfully the songs never step too far into twee-land, as the other songs on the album follow in a similar vein as the title track, weaving in elements of folk-pop and as stated on Her Space Holiday's Myspace, "no samples, no electronics, just a pile of instruments and a never ending will to create."
Luckily fans won't have to wait long to hear the complete two-years of work that Marc spent perfecting, XOXO, Panda and the New Kid Revival as it's scheduled to drop on October 7, 2008. I'm already full of giddy youthfulness in anticipation for it, and that says something wonderful about the quality of artist who can continue to give you those feelings. Bless Marc, and his never ending will for providing numerous years of amazing music.
- Nicole Coxe