Neutral Milk Hotel | 14/02/08

Image: press shot

 It seems strange to put 'In An Aeroplane Over The Sea' into a context of a time and place, it feels more like an exotic treasure from a forgotten era, such is its continual confounding appeal.

This month (February 2008) is the 10th anniversary of the album's release on to a world that wasn't quite ready to embrace it at the time.

All the big themes are here; death, freedom, physical sensation, the search for meaning and spirituality - you’d never suspect that this was a (loose) concept album based on the diary of Ann Frank.

If you've not had the pleasure yet; 'In An Aeroplane Over The Sea' kind of feels like it's been cooked up in the same strange land as 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' and 'Hansel and Gretel' as the surreal Victorian circus-like visuals of the album's artwork alludes but the fantastic production still feels like your physically being accompanied by the band rather than just listening to the music.

Songs like 'Oh Comely', 'Two Headed Boy', 'Ghost' have an almost trance like quality from the beautifully baffling lyrics by Jeff Magnum, collages of warm distortions on an ebb and flow of boisterous instruments from the communal group born out of the Elephant 6 Collective that feels more like a family playing rather than a band performing.

What is it that keeps fans wanting this Aeroplane to sore?

Ten years on it is still an enigma - which is truly something special these days - but has had an effect on people the way that you hope music continues to inspires people; empowering, communal and euphoric.
Trust us, this is an eternal pleasure and a truly out of this world experience.

Searching for more…?

You might know of its influence on other artists from Franz Ferdinand, Arcade Fire, Caribou and loads more but if you'd like to find out more about Neutral Milk Hotel there's an intriguing Pitchfork interview providing rare insights into the world of Jeff Magnum prior to the release of the 'In An Aeroplane Over The Sea', also there a short book by Kim Cooper as part of Continuum's 33 and a third series and there's also an excellant excellent Stereogum article to mark the anniversary with a collection of fantastic rare live clips including the below version of 'King of Carrot Flower Part 2'.