Her Space Holiday

SXSW records

Phases and Stages

Her Space Holiday

Manic Expressive (Tiger Style) Marc Bianchi and his longtime partner Keely, aka Her Space Holiday, have created a mesmerizing follow-up to 2000's foray into melodic electronic experimentation, Home Is Where You Hang Yourself. With Manic Expressive, former hardcore punk Bianchi is currently being mentioned in the same breath as Radiohead and Air, but without Thom Yorke's emotional gymnastics and Godin/Dunckel's self-conscious stylishness. This is mellow, ambient electronica that takes its time in getting where it's going, and rewards patient listeners. Drum machines and preprogrammed strings are used to express "the beauty in everyday things," says Bianchi, so with songs like "Key Stroke," the programmed sound of a door shutting backed by a semi-danceable beat can both take your breath away and make you bob. What's more, Bianchi dubs one side of a taped conversation in which Keely's father (?) asks him about revealing their personal lives in song over a plaintive guitar and synth track to craft the poignant "Spectator Sport." It's pure genius, and it strikes just the right emotional note -- easygoing melancholy. Manic Expressive is an album that demands multiple listens, as the nine tracks are so smooth, they're capable of slipping past you while you're thinking of something else. Do yourself a favor and give it your full attention. You won't be sorry. (Friday, March 15, Buffalo Billiards, 11pm)

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