Credit: Neutral Milk HotelOne of the most enduring legacies of the holocaust, Anne Frank would have been 84-years-young today, had it not been for a still unsolved betrayal that revealed her and her family were hiding in the attic of an Amsterdam two-flat. Of course her writings would be salvaged and her infamous diary-confided dream of becoming a writer and “to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people” would reach posthumous heights she might not have ever fathomed. Hate – 0; Love – 1.

Of the many inspired by Frank, a peculiar set of indie-rock hearts out of Ruston, Louisiana, Neutral Milk Hotel, quietly wrote an homage over half a decade later, dubbed In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. Well, quiet on paper. Rife with allusions to Frank’s plight, the smattering of theremin and distorted approaches to folk became a landmark tapestry of indie-rock, weaving history and poetry in one infinitely interpretable, sonically refreshing shot.

Track “Holland, 1945” notwithstanding, in which a crunchy guitar lead grounds frontman Jeff Mangum’s lofty wails of “the only girl I’ve ever loved…only weeks before the guns all came and rained on everyone,” careening along with horn fills and a bittersweet sense of hope that just doesn’t ever quit, regardless of its historical influence or not. And thus is why it’s such a genius nod:

The only girl I’ve ever loved
Was born with roses in her eyes
But then they buried her alive
One evening, 1945
With just her sister at her side
And only weeks before the guns
All came and rained on everyone
Now she’s a little boy in Spain
Playing pianos filled with flames
On empty rings around the sun
All sing to say my dream has come

But now we must pick up every piece
Of the life we used to love
Just to keep ourselves
At least enough to carry on

And now we ride the circus wheel
With your dark brother wrapped in white
Says it was good to be alive
But now he rides a comet’s flame
And won’t be coming back again
The Earth looks better from a star
That’s right above from where you are
He didn’t mean to make you cry
With sparks that ring and bullets fly
On empty rings around your heart
The world just screams and falls apart

But now we must pick up every piece
Of the life we used to love
Just to keep ourselves
At least enough to carry on

And here’s where your mother sleeps
And here is the room where your brothers were born
Indentions in the sheets
Where their bodies once moved but don’t move anymore
And it’s so sad to see the world agree
That they’d rather see their faces fill with flies
All when I’d want to keep white roses in their eyes