An iconic melody. Playful yet realistic lyrics. Effortless, youthful swagger. Such are the defining qualities of MGMT’s hit single “Kids,” a staple-piece of mid-2000’s alternative music. “Kids” became the song on every teenager’s party playlist; it was a song worthy of playing in the car on full volume with the windows down.
Ever since their debut release Oracular Spectacular, MGMT has been a staple piece of young adulthood and the uncertainty that follows college students and grads everywhere. With their hypnotic lyrics and psychedelic sound, MGMT captivated youth everywhere, from parents’ basements to college dorms. Oracular Spectacular became one of those albums, an album that would forever lie nostalgic in hearts everywhere. MGMT was one of the most hypnotic bands of the mid-2000’s, as they embraced psychedelia and crafted music that sounded as if it were made of LSD itself.
Breakout hits “Kids” and “Electric Feel” thrust the young duo into the spotlight before they wordlessly disappeared again, never to release another Oracular Spectacular. Despite follow up releases Congratulations and MGMT, the world seemingly forgot about the band. Even with catchy tunes like “Flash Delirium” and “Alien Days,” it seemed as if the college kids of Oracular Spectacular had left MGMT in their closets. Where had MGMT gone? Were they done for? Would these innovative young men return to the spotlight?
The answer? Yes, but only following an extended hiatus. After spending four years in the studio, MGMT returns with their newest single, “Little Dark Age.” VanWyngarden and Goldwasser have finally settled down to release a studio version of the upcoming album’s title track. The tune, just shy of five minutes, combines Oracular Spectacular-era sound with an utterly gothic feel. Rather than unsure college graduates, they find themselves surviving in the unforgiving shark tank of true adulthood.
Little Dark Age will no doubt shed their college hippie aesthetic in lieu of something more “goth.” Critics and fans alike draw a connection between MGMT’s new sound and the “goth pop” aesthetic of The Cure. “I grieve in stereo/ The stereo sounds strange/ Just know that if you hide/ It doesn’t go away,” Vanwyngarden warns ominously on “Little Dark Age.”
Besides releasing the new single, MGMT spent early 2017 playing a handful of festival gigs. Other alleged tracks on the album, played live this summer, include “James Brown,” “Me and Michael,” and “When You Die.”
Little Dark Age will be released in 2018.