On Avery Island

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On Avery Island
On avery island album cover.jpg
Studio album by Neutral Milk Hotel
Released March 26, 1996
Recorded June 1994 ("Marching Theme"); February–May 1995
Studio The Elephant 6 Recording Co. (Athens, Georgia, U.S.)
Dane Terry and Marisa Bissinger's House
Length 47:58
Label Merge (original US release)
NMH Records (2014 US reissue)
Fire (UK)
Producer Robert Schneider
Neutral Milk Hotel chronology
Everything Is
(1994)Everything Is1994
On Avery Island
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
(1998)In the Aeroplane Over the Sea1998
Alternative cover
1996 Fire Records (UK) release
1996 Fire Records (UK) release
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[2]
Houston Chronicle4/5 stars[3]
Mojo3/5 stars[4]
Q3/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[7]
Uncut4/5 stars[8]

On Avery Island is the debut and penultimate studio album by American indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel. It was released on March 26, 1996 by Merge Records.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Jeff Mangum, except where noted. Horn arrangements composed by Robert Schneider.

1."Song Against Sex"3:40
2."You've Passed"2:54
3."Someone Is Waiting"2:31
4."A Baby for Pree"1:21
5."Marching Theme"2:58
6."Where You'll Find Me Now"4:04
7."Avery Island / April 1st" (Jeff Mangum, Robert Schneider)1:48
8."Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone"3:14
9."Three Peaches"4:01
11."April 8th"2:47
12."Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye"13:49
Total length:48:00

Additional information[edit]

The title refers to Avery Island, a salt dome island in southern Louisiana, the band's home state. Avery Island is the headquarters of the McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco sauce.

The UK version of this CD has two more tracks: "Everything Is" and "Snow Song Pt. 1," both of which are taken from the "Everything Is" single, reportedly without Jeff Mangum's permission.[9] On the vinyl LP, "Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye" is 3:28 long, as opposed to the significantly longer digital version at 13:49. The UK version also has a different cover, with artwork by Jill Carnes of Thimble Circus.


Track 12 features Marisa Bissinger, Hilarie Sidney, Zachary DeMichele, Dane Terry, Lisa Janssen, Aaron Reedy, and Jeff Mangum performing various Indonesian instruments.


  1. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "On Avery Island – Neutral Milk Hotel". AllMusic. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2009). "Neutral Milk Hotel". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-972636-1. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  3. ^ Wolff, Kurt (May 5, 1996). "Neutral Milk Hotel a Nice Place to Visit". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 20, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Neutral Milk Hotel: On Avery Island". Mojo: 122. Opener 'Song Against Sex' is a folk rock protest played with riotous gusto on buzzing acoustics, Mangum's gift for enigmatic lyrical intrigue and his impassioned holler played to the fore. 
  5. ^ Goldsmith, Mike (September 14, 1996). "Neutral Milk Hotel – On Avery Island". NME. Archived from the original on May 2, 1999. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Neutral Milk Hotel: On Avery Island". Q (123): 140. December 1996. 
  7. ^ Sarig, Roni (2004). "Neutral Milk Hotel". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 579–80. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  8. ^ "Neutral Milk Hotel: On Avery Island". Uncut: 85. NMH here plough a sweet yet decidedly experimental furrow of psychpop, art/drone rock and leftfield electronica ... 
  9. ^ Neutral Milk Hotel releases