There were times when we did not know whether we would still be a band tomorrow," says Christian Hjelm, lead singer of Figurines. "But we came out stronger on the other side. And then we started working on the new album."
Formed in the mid-90’s by small town childhood friends Figurines were already touring Northern Europe and Scandinavia extensively by the age of 20. On their second album Skeleton (2006), Figurines received massive international attention and they were sent out into the world on tours with Tapes' n Tapes, Cold War Kids and Kaiser Chiefs, touring North America three times.
2007 saw the international release of their third album, When The Deer Wore Blue, produced in cooperation with Chicago based Jeremy Lemos (Jim O'Rourke, Smog, Stereolab, and others). But touring that third album the band began to fall apart. Having spent all their time and money on their music, they reached the tipping point, where it stopped making sense.
The story has been heard before - a band hits a wall and its frame collapses. Many bands don't rise again. Figurines hit that wall but were able to return to, and re-discover the joy of, the starting point of what they do: create music, play concerts... in a band.
“So I don’t know how interesting that is,” Christian Hjelm continues. “Or if it’s something you can hear on the album at all.”
The turbulence in the backdrop only emphasizes their latest full-length and the quality of this band. Figurines' self-titled fourth album is not an album characterized by perplexity.
On a personal level Figurines is a triumph. Musically the album reaches back to the power of Skeleton while remaining close to the more complex When The Deer Wore Blue. Figurines have managed to return to a point where the songs' structures, immediacy and extroversion are the focus.
Pavement, Modest Mouse and Built To Spill were the early influences for Figurines (the boys) in their home town in rural Northern Denmark, where they were pretty much alone with their interest in that sound. From there they dug backwards and out internalizing the canonized pop and rock music of the Western world. Today Figurines (the band) are skilled and experienced musicians, almost veterans although barely reaching the end of their 20’s, but also still growing and refiguring and on Figurines (the album) they’ve found a way to polish their songwriting in new ways.
The opening track on Figurines, "Hanging From Above", sets the tone, with its skillful yet playful instrumentation and breezy, inviting chorus. From there "The Great Unknown" pulsates and pops with rock riffs, drive and soul. "New Colours", with its shuffled beat is nothing you've heard from Figurines before. And Christian Hjelm shows a new fervor on "We Got Away" and "Call Your Name".
The album already has a special place in the band's heart. Never before have they worked so closely together throughout the process and controlling everything from the first mood of the recording to the finished master. Figurines is an important album for them. They've pulled eleven beads up on a string and hope that new and old fans will enjoy them.
There were times when we did not know whether we would still be a band tomorrow," says Christian Hjelm, lead singer of Figurines. "But we came out stronger on the other side. And then we started...
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