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 February–May 1995 at The Elephant 6 Recording Co. and Dane and Merisa's House except "Marching Theme" which occurred in June 1994
Genre Indie rock, psychedelic rock, psych folk, drone
Length 47:58
Label Merge (original US release)
NMH Records (2014 US reissue)
Fire (UK)
Producer Robert Schneider
Neutral Milk Hotel chronology
Everything Is
On Avery Island
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Alternative cover
1996 Fire Records (UK) release
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (neither)[2]
NME 9/10[3]

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

Track listing[edit]

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

No. Title Length
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
10. "Naomi"   4:53
11. "April 8th"   2:47
12. "Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye"   13:49

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.[4] 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.


  • Jeff Mangum - guitar, drums, vocals, bells, xylophone, air organ, keyboards, tapes, cover design
  • Robert Schneider - air organs, home organs, fuzz bass, xylophone, horn arrangements
  • Lisa Janssen - fuzz bass on tracks 2 and 8
  • Steven Zhu - violin, flute, and backup vocals on tracks 3 and 8
  • Kelsea Giannini - accordion and bells on tracks 4 and 8
  • Rick Benjamin - trombone on tracks 1, 7, 8

Track 12 features Merisa 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 : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: Neutral Milk Hotel". Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ Robinson, Rebecca (January 18, 2008). "NME Album Reviews - Neutral Milk Hotel - NME.COM". Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  4. ^ Neutral Milk Hotel releases