Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and musician Steve Five took his name from a poem by French wartime poet René Char, while working at Strand Bookstore. He also had weekly meetings over coffee with Television‘s Tom Verlaine. Five started The Library is on Fire back in 2007, and the band quickly established a sound that combined the melodies of Guided by Voices and the wall of sound guitar riffage of Dinosaur, Jr. and others.
The Library is on Fire quickly became a NYC scene mainstay and developed a reputation for playing chaotic live shows at Glasslands and Death by Audio. After several releases including 2010’s Magic Windows, Magic Nights, the band went on hiatus on 2014 with members going on to play in a number of other notable projects including Oberhofer, Public Access TV and more.
After a nearly lengthy hiatus, the members of The Library is on Fire have released new material, which will appear on their first album in almost a decade. The album will feature “Back Pocket,” a a sludgy, shoegazer-like ripper that brought A Place to Bury Strangers and others to mind.
The album’s second and latest single “Hotel Jugoslavija” features the legendary Mike Watt on a track built around relentless military styled drumming paired with sludgy angular bursts of guitar and lyrics that use a spy games metaphor to describe a relationship full of love, loss, deceit and heartbreak. The result is a song that possesses a math rock-meets-prog rock vibe while being tense and uneasy.