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Figurine – The Heartfelt

This band began writing songs by sending audio clips to each other via email, since all three members lived in different cities – San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Cambridge. The irony that this exchange of musical inspirations in this somewhat cold way has resulted is something personal and warm, with an aptly named album title.


Although the band’s name comes from two of its members, David and Meredith Figurine, the word figurine itself represents something fragile, a collectable that sits still on a shelf, sometimes dusty, often cherished, but a definite representation of a period in time and one’s passion. Come to find out their name was inspired not by what’s on their birth certificate, but from a unisex children’s toy. Either way, it is that intricacy and attention to detail that is quite apparent right from the get-go, and the period in time is both retro and futuristic.

Figurine opens their Heartfelt storybook with the light tinkling of wind chimes and echoed voices, words of observation and expression. Then the electronic symphonies appear underneath the murmur of languid questions, bleeping lights, Playskool tones, and Atari memories. They admittedly felt their long-distance collaboration could take place, not because of Al Gore’s Internet, but because of what the electronic dance blokes like Depeche Mode and those in Magnetic Fields had done in the past, blending synthesized lo-fi with whispy serenades into bouncy, yet contemplative electro pop songs.

Love songs are sweet and cozy, but without the sappiness of mainstream stars who take themselves way too seriously. Plus, it’s a bit hard to be romantic when visions of Flock of Seagull hair dance in your head and you hear “love is just a noun” on their title track “Heartfelt.”

Yes, one member is Jimmy Tamborello from Postal Service. But other two pieces of the pie make their mark, including David’s past works with the ambient, techno outfit Antihouse, and Meredith’s pop infused band 16-Yr-Old Boyfriend. Today they continue to take advantage of technology, using their website to interact with their listeners and inspire remixes of their work. Included in the album are three “password” songs (tracks 3, 9, and 12) and people can go on to, enter the password, and download separate pieces of each song (vocal tracks, beat tracks).

So go for it, and send what you make to use here at Kaffeine Buzz as well. We might as well keep the long distance collaboration going.


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