Tickets go on sale this Friday for the reformed Neutral Milk Hotel‘s gig in Vicar Street next May.
Jeff Mangum, Jeremy Barnes, Scott Spillane, & Julian Koster are Neutral Milk Hotel. In 1998 they released their second album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea which was hailed as an instant classic. These songs inspired mass sing-alongs at live shows and the record became an influential touchstone for several generations of indie-rock musicians around the world. Abstract lyrics married to insanely catchy melodies and a variety of unlikely styles from East European choral music to drone to jazz to Tropicália. The album is said to be inspired largely by the story of Holocaust victim Anna Frank.
Neutral Milk Hotel began simply as a recording project for Mangum who initially recorded a series of cassette demos for a number years whilst living a nomadic lifestyle.
A full album, On Avery Island, was released in 1996, recorded in Denver, Colorado on a four-track reel-to-reel tape machine, where Mangum was backed by the album’s producer Robert Schneider of The Apples in Stereo, Rick Benjamin of The Perry Weissman 3 and Lisa Janssen of Secret Square. It was released by Merge Records. After the release of Avery Island, Neutral Milk Hotel became a fully-fledged band, as Julian Koster, Scott Spillane and Jeremy Barnes joined Mangum, the band now being based in New York City. Soon after this, they moved to Athens, Georgia, where many of Mangum’s friends had begun to settle, and the Elephant 6 recording company began to take shape. The band was one of Elephant 6’s three first projects, alongside The Apples in Stereo and Olivia Tremor Control. After this, the band went back to Denver, to record a proper follow up to On Avery Island.
Although it did not meet commercial success at the time of release, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea which has gone on to sell over 300,000 copies and received critical acclaim. Pitchfork retrospectively award it the title of Fourth best Album of the 1990s, stating “Mangum sings as if possessed, painfully conveying fractured and moving tales with the imagistic skill of a brilliant novelist…. The way people have been affected by Aeroplane is ample proof of its power and uniqueness. Like all classic art, it is widely misunderstood; yet to some, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea has become a riddle the likes of The Wasteland– an impossibly rich text that begs to be deciphered, yet continually evades any singular interpretation.”
Despite growing popularity, the group disbanded in 1999 after Mangum reputedly became disenchanted with touring and the music press and he remained out of the spotlight until his tentative re-emergence a couple of years ago.
Harmonic presents Neutral Milk Hotel Vicar Street Friday May 17th
Tickets go on sale at 9am this Friday, October 11th http://www.ticketmaster.ie & outlets nationwideÂ and are €25 (inc booking fee).