Songofthedayteam's Blog
A home for lonely, underappreciated music.

SOTD for 6/22/2009: Neutral Milk Hotel – “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”

Today’s Song of the Day: 
Neutral Milk Hotel – “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” (Submitted by Kapil Kale)
Although Neutral Milk Hotel disbanded in 1999, their music echoes on in the collections of indie music enthusiasts.  Met with limited commercial success, their 1998 album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea received significant critical acclaim, including being named Pitchfork’s 4th-best album of the 1990s.  The sound of the band is something timeless, and Neutral Milk Hotel is one of the few rare bands that transcends its era.  Sadly, at the height of the band’s success, Neutral Milk Hotel ultimately disbanded, as guitarist, lead singer and frontman Jeff Mangum had what someone of our generation might call a “Chappellian” moment and turned away from a life of growing fame.

“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” is a soft, nostalgic ode to living in the moment.  Although the song foreshadows life’s inevitable end, the mood of the song remains optimistic, and its narrator can’t help but marvel at the beauty of life. 

Neutral Milk Hotel
It’s true that Neutral Milk Hotel bowed out early in their musical careers, but such is life – c’est la vie.  For it may be the sad but beautiful truth that if life were not so short, we would not realize how much our loved ones meant to us.  But, in the meantime…

“Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see
Love to be
In the arms of all I’m keeping here with me”

-Neutral Milk Hotel, “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”

SOTD says, Neutral Milk Hotel sounds like: “A band of folk musicians about to experience a frightening realization that their lives are on the precipice of changing forever.” 
SOTD Underappreciation Ratio (SUR):  8/6 = 1.3U
SUR is defined as the factor of society’s current underappreciation, which is calculated by dividing the inherent greatness of the song by its current level of appreciation.  Examples of factors that drive a high “underappreciation score” include: not having the song available on iTunes/Amazon, no one having posted the lyrics online, not having a music video, etc.

Check out a fan video here: 

About Song of the Day:
The purpose of Song of the Day is to promote songs that are found to be disproportionately less known relative to how good the Song of the Day team thinks they actually are.  The Song of the Day team welcomes your submissions for consideration.
Have some feedback for SOTD?  Know a new artist or song that SOTD absolutely needs to look at?  Let us know by simply replying to this post.  If your song is picked by our team, the submission will be credited to you, and you can beam with pride when it hits your inbox and/or WordPress.
The best thing since Napster – and  SOTD has bought its own domain name!  We are currently in the process of determining the best method of site design, which will also involve figuring out who will design the site.  Follow the action (which is likely to be very, very slow-moving action…) at  The team is currently looking into surveying members for desired features, as the development of the site should bring SOTD’s musical submissions to a much larger audience.  In the meantime, check out our brand new blog –


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