Some people make music because they want to, others do because they simply have no other choice. New London Fire frontman Dave Debiak fits into the latter category. As the brains behind the prolific indie outfit Sleep Station, Debiak released nearly one album a year for the past six years, most notably 2004’s critically acclaimed After The War. However, New London Fire is a completely different beast, one that couldn’t be tamed by one man alone.
While New London Fire’s moniker was inspired by My Chemical Romance bassist Mikey Way, the band quickly took on a life of their own. “[Way] is a really big supporter of the band and asked to play on the next record, but obviously can’t right now because he has other commitments,” Debiak explains. “He asked us to help him get together a Brit Pop band a long time ago and call it New London Fire, but nothing ever came of it. So when this band started, I asked him if we could use the name and he was all about it.”
Comprised of Dave, his brother keyboardist Jason Debiak, drummer Rich Polatchek, guitarist Jonathan Lam, bassist Eric Willis and studio collaborator D. James Goodwin, New London Fire’s debut, I Sing The Body Holographic is an album that doesn’t defy genre categorizations—it transcends them. “We may not have anything in common with someone who’s listening to our music, but we’re just looking to make connections, regardless of what genre of music they typically listen to,” Dave explains.
Cinematic in scope and vision, I Sing The Body Holographic’s 12 tracks are more like chapters in a book than individual songs. From the impossibly catchy opener and first single “Different” to the synth-driven dance floor anthem “I Sing The Body Holographic” to borderline southern rock feel of the closer “Somewhere In Between,” none of the songs on I Sing The Body Holographic sound like each other, yet together they form a cohesive musical statement.
Lyrically, the album is equally haunting (as anyone who’s seen the urban Lord Of The Flies-esque video for “Different” already knows). “’Different’ is a song about this guy who falls in love with a prostitute and wants to love her, but she tells him things aren’t going to change,” Debiak explains. Alternately, “To Breathe” is about a serial killer who murders a prostitute on Valentine’s Day and “We Don’t Bleed” is about two ghosts trying to find each other in the afterlife. While the subject matter may be unorthodox, it’s also a welcome break from the current ubiquity of whiny break-up songs.
But despite the album’s dense subject matter, what really matters is the songs. “The words and the music are the same thing; when you read the lyrics it’s a sad song, but when you hear it, you’ll just want to dance,” says Debiak, who cites everyone from Sam Cooke to Johnny Cash as songwriter fodder for the album. “It’s a heavy contrast between the music. You can get into it for one reason or another—or both,” he continues. “I think whatever people take out of it is there own experience, not mine.”