One of the most universally revered artists to emerge from the nebulous genre of “indie” is Neutral Milk Hotel. Lead by the ever-elusive and mysterious Jeff Magnum, their music introduced some highly progressive elements into the indie world and characterized by their lush-yet-rickety, multi-instrumental sound, populated frequently by slightly off-key notes and Magnum’s distinct fragile and raw vocals.
Simultaneously presaging and pioneering indie-folk, artists such as the Decemberists owe a certain debt to NMH (though they are not nearly as related as some detractors of Colin Meloy et al would have you believe).
Their criminally short career was capped by their second album, In the aeroplane over the sea, an opus that takes some artists decades, and some forever, to produce.
There are some truly gorgeous videos, my personal favorite probably being the minimalist “Two-headed boy II” and “Communist Daughter.” If you can’t find something in this melange to move you, you are truly a stone-cold heart.