Neutral Milk Hotel was an American indie rock band formed in Ruston, Louisiana by singer, guitarist, and songwriter Jeff Mangum in the late 1980s. The band is noted for its experimental sound, abstract lyrics, and eclectic instrumentation.
The first release under the Neutral Milk Hotel moniker was the 1994 EP Everything Is, a short collection of tracks featuring Mangum. On the band's full-length debut album On Avery Island, which followed shortly thereafter, Mangum was joined by childhood friend and Apples in Stereo frontman Robert Schneider, who contributed production and instrumentation. Upon the album's release, the full band was formed and extensive touring began.
Neutral Milk Hotel released In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in 1998, which became their best-known and most critically acclaimed album. Although the album did not meet commercial success at the time of release, it has gone on to sell over 300,000 copies and received critical acclaim from several publications, including Pitchfork Media, Magnet Magazine, AllMusic, and The Pazz & Jop poll. Despite growing popularity, the group disbanded in 1999 after Mangum became disenchanted with touring and the music press, later having a nervous breakdown.
Neutral Milk Hotel is a part of the Elephant 6 Recording Company. The band was one of Elephant 6's three first projects, alongside The Apples in Stereo and The Olivia Tremor Control.
On April 29, 2013, the band announced a reunion tour for the fall of 2013 with the lineup that played on In the Aeroplane Over the Sea via their record label's website. After that, they continued to play concerts sporadically until going on indefinite hiatus in mid-2015.