MGMT’s new self-titled album: A journey beyond ordinary you’ve never been on before


Music is a higher art and not just about topical songs. For me, it’s about sound and having a transcendental experience through sound, and I think words can sometimes get in the way of that if they’re too literal. ~ Ben Goldwasser

MGMT Album – Columbia Records

In their years at Wesleyan University, Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden soon focused on experimental music.  They even played a few experimental operas of Anthony Braxton.   Experimental music has been an important influence for Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden ignored by the press.

Speaking to Electronic Beats, Andrew VanWyngarden remarked:  “Yeah, the scene at Wesleyan was pretty big, and it certainly influenced us, but in a way where we would be in these classes and, well, sometimes it would be really cool and other times it would just get really painful about how academic the approach would be,”   It was so much more of the concept over anything else. That’s why our early shows and approaches to live performance were drawing on experimentation in sort of a tongue-in-cheek way—a parody almost. “‘

In an interview with American Songwriter published on November 8, 2010, VanWyngarden and Goldwasser said their third album will be self-titled, and that “usually if we say something and it gets published, we stick to it. That’s what happened with Congratulations.” Regarding the content of the album, Goldwasser said “Something that’d be fun to do is have a decent number of songs on the album that can easily be extended or have sections that could turn into a really trance-y, repetitive thing live.”

On January 26, 2012 MGMT confirmed in an interview with Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfers in the inaugural issue of Intercourse Magazine that they had started work on the album. VanWyngarden stated that he has written five songs, inspired by R.E.M..   On February 27, the band began recording the album at Tarbox Road Studios with producer Dave Fridmann.

On January 29, 2013, the band told Rolling Stone that they “are not trying to make music that everyone understands the first time they hear it.”

Later in June,  MGMT revealed via their website that the album was due for release on September 17, 2013.  The band released their full album MGMT prematurely via twitter on September 9 saying they had a “surprise”. Days before its official release, was made pre-release of the album in the service Rdio.

MGMT is the self-titled third album by American psychedelic rock band MGMT released on September 17, 2013.   The album delivers a brand-new sound that celebrates liberated consciousness as they ditch any remnants of creative boundaries. The music awakens feelings and emotions of worry and insecurity — but also of determination, and even optimism –,  that people have to deal with when the future is equally uncertain at all times these days.  As such, they have produced an album with a variety of unique visual elements to accompany and illuminate the new music via “The Optimizer”, which provides listeners a simultaneously aural and optical listening experience featuring video and CGI work.  MGMT is an intricate and vital album that will prove itself in time to be the gift that keeps on giving.

“I don’t think this album is dark or depressing. It’s reality. It’s about freaking yourself out in a good way and getting more real. It’s not about “Everything sucks.  We’re all going to make things better and become better people if we confront those lies,”  Goldwasser said in an interview.

Discussing the album’s two sides, Ben Goldwasser told Electronic Beats: “Actually, a lot of the music on the second half of this album has no harmonic structure at all. It’s just so many layers on top of each other and a lot of things tonally that won’t fit together in a traditional sense. But that’s been done before. I suppose “Astromancy” has ended up being my favorite song, which is the one we finished last. It’s a song where nothing fits together and there’s all sorts of space in between the sounds, which disallows you to concentrate on a single thing. All of the sonic elements appear to be trying to divert your attention. I think it invites a different way of listening. ”

All you possibly need to know about MGMT and their music is in this comment by Ben Goldwasser: “I think a lot of musicians I talk to these days are way too concerned with the commercial side of things and how to market themselves when they should just be making music and not be worrying about outside influences and what people think of what they’re doing.  Especially since ‘Congratulations’ and all the backlash from people who thought we were one thing and they were wrong, we’ve just kind of learned to not try to explain ourselves too much or to correct people. It’s pop music. It’s pop culture. It’s a stupid world in a lot of ways but it’s still fun to be a part of and deconstruct. “

Track listing

All lyrics written by Andrew VanWyngarden, all music composed by Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser except where listed.

No. Title Length
1. Alien Days 5:09
2. “Cool Song No. 2” 4:01
3. “Mystery Disease” 4:08
4. “Introspection” (Faine Jade cover) 4:22
5. Your Life is a Lie 2:06
6. “A Good Sadness” 4:48
7. “Astro-Mancy” 5:11
8. “I Love You Too, Death” 5:50
9. “Plenty of Girls in the Sea” 3:04
10. “An Orphan of Fortune” 5:31
Total length: