NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL

 

"'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea' is one of the most completely inspiring rock records I've ever heard...everytime I finish listening to it I feel like I've lived through something I'll never quite understand, something really big." Richard Reed Parry of the Arcade Fire. Rising from the flames of Louisiana's 'crazy psychedelic Christianity' and smouldering bayous, comes the re-release of Neutral Milk Hotel's 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea'. Originally released in 1996, Domino have swept off the ashes covering this musical gem that has been sparking inspiration in its listeners and influencing bands including Arcade Fire, Caribou and even Franz Ferdinand. Neutral Milk Hotel were drawn together as teenage friends to make music, propelled by the imaginary force of Jeff Mangum, making music in bedrooms with a universe of instruments. With members of Olivia Tremor Control and Apples in Stereo they formed the Elephant 6, dispersed, re-arranged and created Neutral Milk Hotel. Shunning the mainstream and performing rarely to the dismay of fans meant that 'Aeroplane...' never received its due exposure. Jeff Mangum's gravelly folky sing-song voice is at times reminiscent of Wayne Coyne but with more passion and conviction. Exploring the realms of the extraordinary through the ordinary, Mangum weaves his voice "through the notches in your spine..." in 'Two Headed Boy'. Mangum's words flow in a Jungian stream of consciousness, springing kinetically and breathlessly from each other, illuminating fantastic, almost intangible images. Recognised in the US as a seminal album of extraordinary beauty and innovation by critics and its audience, the album continues to sell 25,000 copies a year mainly by word of mouth, and was recently given ten retroactive stars by Pitchfork. An out of this world experience.