by figure/ground

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released August 8, 2011

recorded/mixed july 2011 by matt redenbo at little lamplight studios, except "breath" which was recorded/mixed by liam august 2011 at his parent's house.

mastered by azimuth mastering

cover art by amine

thanks to lawrence for letting us borrow his drums (and for just being you!), the redenbo, fletcher, and buff families for putting up with the noise, our friends for their support, the BSC, the big three, amine, and matt r.

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figure/ground Huntingtown, Maryland

fourpiece from southern maryland, formed late 2010, active until early 2012, ex-Lonely Vibraphone

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Track Name: 2.11.11
i’m saving the speech ‘cause i’m bathing in grief
(caged in, it keeps me from aging in peace)
standing, sensing the sand sitting beneath my feet
(this shit finally making my misery complete)

it puts us through our paces,
suspending our speculation in resignation from futile chases.
he rolled our snowball down the hill, was gone before the blanket melted
i’d like to say i feel him still, but new year’s is the last i felt it.
i remain in the same places,
tormented by cognizance that you had left these mortal chases.
i’m disillusioned, unfulfilled,
imprisoned by blueprints instilled,
fighting the facts and disguising the past,
choking my thoughts, trying to detach,
fighting the truth and hiding the proof,
swallowing all of these memories of you.

leaves drop down, change green to brown, and brown to gone.
“the seasons change”, those tired clichés, “everything eventually fades”
but it’s fucking true, it’s taken you with more to come.
i miss your grin, i miss your chin, why can’t you fucking live again?

there’s only eight of us left, i can feel us molting,
letting go of the hands that we’ve all been holding.
it fractures our wholeness: these worn gears of closeness
that deprecate, devastate, decimate, desecrate
in a natural pattern of reworking matter,
unconscious, irreverent, unfeeling, unhesitant.

everything south, bereft of breath, with only an afterimage left.

you, gone.
you, lifeless.
you, gone.
Track Name: Shaking Hands
my fingers freeze stiff.
I stand cold and motionless,
watching my visible breath,
and feeling like I can’t move my legs.
my shaking hands breed lonely pangs. the chill expands. it all feels dead
and their lifeless lives pass right on by, protected by what they pretend.

this air’s too cold for my fist to hold.
since my fingers froze, there’s nothing i can hold.

heartless hearts pass by in cars. they drive by, unaware that i’m out here. they don’t care if i cease to breathe again cause if I die alone it’s one less home occupied.
lifeless lives pass right on by. they leave me shivering cold and all alone to rot here,
hopelessly coping, hopelessly hoping, hopeless.
empty handed, empty hearted, empty.
they’re wrapped up in bullshit / stories so meaningless, criticizing, they can’t be bothered
and if they meet me, they’ll extend their hands to shake, but hide their hearts away, like that will keep them safe to cling to semen / their sick smiles that I fucking hate.

this air’s too cold for my fist to hold.
since my fingers froze, there’s nothing i can hold.

but the movement’s contagious.
I walk just like them,
vacuous, unimpressed,
next stop: ignoring this.
and keeping with the changes:
frigid, empty, pretending, heartless (just ignoring this), lifeless (i am just like them)

and maybe some red runs through the ground’s lungs,
but i wouldn’t hold my breath.

(their hearts are frozen stiff. they are cold, emotionless.)
and i’m no better,
putting on a constant front
like it’s some kind of sweater…
something that might keep me warm,
but my heart’s just become deformed.
Track Name: Breath
I stood up with no conception of safety and took my first steps.

I walked for days across wood-paneled floors with new found independence.
I learned your name, and spoke only that word, but with increasing distance.
I ran away, shaking hands / making plans with heartless hearts pumping semen.
I tired and lay, discontent but distracted by illogical dreaming.

Each useless flutter of my wings was beaten down by the force of gravity.
Each hopeless hope that my mouth formed the words of was drowned out by the impossibility
of what I need.

Futile actions are all I can know.
I can never make my way back home.

Every breath I’ve taken seems to fill me less than it should.
I felt more satisfied with oxygen you gave straight to me.
I’ve come to rely on the air to provide me with more than it could.
I was more satisfied with oxygen I got directly.
I cried myself straight out of my bliss,
and now I’m trying to forget all this shit by any means that exist,
but without fail, I fail.

Ever since I was torn from your womb, I’ve been screaming,
my chin forced up with unfullfillable dreams of the contentment I felt before.
Ever since I was forced out of you, I’ve been shrieking,
my heart bereft of the inimitable feeling of the closeness that was mine and yours.

I dug this ditch with empty speech in vain attempt of a closeness.
(I stared at orbs, absorbed by their light.)
I drifted far away from here to realize what it is to be a child.
(I ran to them, discontent and blind.)

I can’t feel like I did then because I can’t taste milk again.
Track Name: Giving Up The Ghost
I fucking ran away,
and even though I found food here and some sort of shelter,
all I want’s something that might vaguely feel like terry cloth.
I’m constantly searching for something to warm me…

but empty speech keeps me and everyone else apart.
differences are ribs that cage my heart.

but I’m tired of hiding behind metaphors and vague statements.
I need to make clear that I’m feeling estrangement,
‘cause every talk just leaves me feeling alienation
and each action I take ends with hopeless frustration.

I might just give it up.

I haven’t been naked since I was a child.
I’ve been staring composedly out at green lights.
Sleeping restlessly as an uncomfortable chrysalis
and running futilely, gasping for lungs full of frigid mist.

I’ve had enough of this so-called “hope”.
I feel like it’s time to finally give up the ghost.

it’s awful, the struggle we wage for complacency
when these glimmers of light can only be illusory:
closeness just kills me, ‘cause it fucking fades away,
objects are useless, except for cluttering,
rivers of vodka won’t ease up my travesties,
forests of ganja won’t freeze up the gravity,
sounds will not soothe me, no matter the quality.
there’s nothing here.

it’s hope that keeps me suffering…
deludes me into taking breath,
but now it can’t deceive me.
I’ll never call this “happy”.