Are Neutral Milk Hotel getting ready to release a new album? New drawings for sale on the band's website are hinting at that being the case...
A new series by bandleader Jeff Mangum called The Book Cipher Sings has a few vvvery interesting clues. Mangum's been selling his art for many years, but these new items are markedly different to what's come before.
It's all a bit cryptic, but if you look closely, there's definitely something going on: one drawing is labelled steganography. One buyer notes that their drawing features the words 'double album', albeit backwards and upwards. This drawing features the word 'double', and then lower down, '3rd'. This one has the words 'magicicada cassini' and 'Cassini-Huygens'.
Reddit user maldenfilms has been digging a little further:
"The purchase page descriptions refer to the art as 'steganography', which is in and of itself 'the practice of concealing messages or information within other non-secret text or data.' - there's a lot of '1st' '2nd' '3rd' spheres. The '1st' and '2nd' have only 1 ring (single albums). The '3rd' one has two rings and the word 'double' appears a lot too. 'Magicicada cassini' is a locust that appears every 17 years and is due to return in 2017 in Northern Georgia. 'Cassini-Huygens' is a spacecraft that was sent out about 18 years ago and is expected to end its mission in 2017."
A new release would be Neutral Milk Hotel's third studio record. Neutral Milk Hotel are based in Georgia and released their second album in 1998: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. It turns 19 in February.