Spotlight \


By: Katy Lindenmuth

Music has really done a number on America. Normally voracious and arrogant, our country giddily shares its biggest, brightest bands with the entire world. We pleasure our fellow nations with the cream of the musical crop — and rarely ask for credit or question their strikingly similar Billboard charts. Then, in return for our generosity, we get stuff like Rihanna, t.a.t.u., Rammstein, and that whole Latin Explosion debacle.

Where the hell is the love?

Scandinavia, bless its heart, has stepped up to the plate and kindly exported their finest indie-rock band, Figurines. The Danish foursome’s fresh and unadorned sound is one part Pavement, one part — as they put it — “plug ‘n’ play, baby.” And yes, they sing in English. Figurines formed in the mid ’90s by childhood friends Andreas Toft (bass), Christian Hjelm (truly distinct vocals, guitar), and Claus Salling Johansen (guitar, backup vocals). Rumor has it they anointed their fourth and final member, drummer Kristian Volden, while drunk at a high school party — “but the deal was still on the next morning.”

With the 2003 release of their debut full-length album, Shake a Mountain, and its No. 1 Danish alternative hit “Bright,” the Figurines secured a solid fan base in Denmark. Their second release, Skeletons, produced another hit in 2005 with “The Wonder.” That album finally surfaced in the U.S. this month on Control Group Records — a solid 11 months after its Danish debut. New cover art, same rockin’ tracks.

So, Denmark, thank you! We’ll keep Figurines. Wanna swap ‘em for the Pussycat Dolls?

Figurines at SXSW:

3/17, Big Red Sun in the Nest 3/18, Sonic Boom

Figurines official site

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