Everything Is (EP)

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Everything Is
Everything Is (Neutral Milk Hotel).jpg
EP by Neutral Milk Hotel
Released

1994 (single)

1995 (EP) (Fire reissue)
Recorded Jeff Mangum's home and Garden Gate Studio
Genre Indie rock, lo-fi
Length

7:33 (7")

14:52 (CD)

22:28 (10")
Label

Cher Doll
CHER 002 Fire
Blaze79CD, Blaze79A Orange Twin
OTR005

Neutral Milk Hotel Records
NMH001C
Producer Jeff Mangum
Neutral Milk Hotel chronology
Everything Is
(1994)
On Avery Island
(1996)On Avery Island1996
The original Everything Is 7"
The original Everything Is 7"
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media (6.0/10)[2]

Everything Is was the first recording mass-released by Neutral Milk Hotel, which at this point was largely still an outlet for the songwriting of Jeff Mangum, instead of a fully formed band. The recording was originally the second release on the fledgling Seattle label Cher Doll Records in 1994.[3] The label in the form of a 7", with "Everything Is" as the A side, and "Snow Song, Pt. 1" as the B side. The first 50 7"s pressed also featured different artwork, with each sleeve being personally xeroxed by Mangum.[4] The Cher Doll edition is now out of print.

The British label Fire Records re-released the record in 1995, on CD and 7", with the 7" retaining the same A and B sides, and the CD version featuring an extra track, "Aunt Eggma Blowtorch", a five-minute sound collage by Mangum.[5] Both CD and 7" featured different artwork (which can be seen to the right). The Fire version is also out of print,[6] though not as collectible as the Cher Doll version.

In 2001, the recently founded Orange Twin Records (owned by members of Elephant 6 luminaries Elf Power) re-released the single, this time on CD only, adding the extra track "Tuesday Moon". The artwork remained the same as was previously seen on the Fire release. This version is currently in print.[6]

The songs featured on the single are distinctly representative of the early, 'embryonic' Neutral Milk Hotel, and indeed, all but "Snow Song Pt. 1" feature in identical versions on earlier tapes which are in circulation. "Everything Is" appears on the second unnamed demo, which is assumed to have been produced in 1993.[4] "Aunt Eggma Blowtorch" also features on this demo, and a slightly longer version appears on 1992's Beauty as "Hypnotic Sounds", allegedly one of the very first Neutral Milk Hotel recordings.[4] "Tuesday Moon" can also be found on Invent Yourself a Shortcake, listed as "Love You On A Tuesday", although the version that appears on the Orange Twin re-release is culled from 1993's Hype City Soundtrack.[6]

While the simple collage of "Aunt Eggma Blowtorch" is often divisive, "Everything Is" itself is a fan favorite, and was played live by the band on several occasions. "Tuesday Moon" appears on several live bootlegs, and "Snow Song, Pt. 1" often featured in the band's pre-Aeroplane live set, usually after "Ruby Bulbs". Very few live versions of "Snow Song, Pt. 1" include the second verse.

The UK release of On Avery Island (on Fire Records) featured the original two tracks from the "Everything Is" single as bonus tracks, though without the band's permission.[4][5]

In December 2011, the album was re-released as part of the "Walking Wall of Words" box set self-released by Neutral Milk Hotel records. This 10" version of the album featured three new songs and new artwork.

Recording and sound[edit]

Everything Is was recorded between 1991 and 1993 on Jeff Mangum's four-track recorder, still using the name to branch out with his musical projects instead of forming an actual band. Throughout the recording of the EP, Jeff featured many friends and fellow musicians on the recordings on several songs, while Robert Schneider proceeded to master the album from the original cassette recordings.

The sound of Everything Is differs from his work from On Avery Island onwards, as it was still a projection of his experimentation and lo-fi outlet. The bulk of the album includes lo-fi, fuzzy, and psychedelic-influenced songs that range from being closely related to his acoustic-based work to punk-like rhythms and psychedelic tones. Before Everything Is, Jeff experimented with noise and tape loops, and after the EP he began working with acoustic melodies and horn sections. This is often seen as the bridging point between his two styles.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Everything Is" – 3:42
  2. "Here We Are (for W. Cullen Hart)" – 2:33*
  3. "Unborn" – 3:43*
  4. "Snow Song, Pt. 1" – 3:51
  5. "Ruby Bulbs" – 1:47*
  6. "Aunt Eggma Blowtorch" – 5:00**
  7. "Tuesday Moon" – 2:19**

A single asterisk (*) indicates tracks which were added for the 2011 NMH Records Reissue.

Two asterisks indicate tracks which were added for the 1995 Fire Records Reissue.

Personnel[edit]

  • Jeff Mangum – Guitar, Drums, Voice, Accordion, Tapes, Label Collages, Album Design
  • Shannon Willis – Voice (Ruby Bulbs)
  • Bill Doss – Drums (Ruby Bulbs)
  • Yvonne Grzenkowicz – Dream Tape (Tuesday Moon)
  • Colby Katz – Voice
  • Will Cullen Hart – Front Cover
  • Mark Ohe – Album Design

References[edit]