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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

MGMT Reflects On Evolution Of New Music

Ben Goldwasser, left, and Andrew VanWyngarden, right, are the founders of MGMT. (Danny Clinch)

Ben Goldwasser, left, and Andrew VanWyngarden, right, are the founding members of MGMT. (Danny Clinch)

Members of the band MGMT were just college kids when they wrote some of the songs that shot them to fame and won them a Grammy. Their 2008 album “Oracular Spectacular” was released by a major record label, sold over a million copies and was chosen by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

I feel like we have a mutual respect between us and our fans, where they trust us when we want to do something different.

– Ben Goldwasser

But their second album, “Congratulations,” had a very different sound. The website Pitchfork described it as a “well-meaning, overstuffed and reactionary record,” and many fans were upset that it didn’t include catchy pop songs like the first.

In their new self-titled album “MGMT,” the band continues its evolution, showing a spacier, darker side. The first album had songs titled “Kids” and “Electric Feel.” The new album’s songs have names like “I Love You Too, Death” and “Mystery Disease.”

“The new song titles are just trying to be a little bit more real and open and honest,” MGMT  lead vocalist, guitar player and songwriter Andrew VanWyngarden told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

“In a way for us it feels like more of a positive thing to write songs about how life is not always easy and there are some bad things happening in the world right now, and confronting that and recognizing that everyone’s thinking about that right now,” MGMT vocalist and keyboard player Ben Goldwasser added.

Despite the pushback they’ve received for their new sound, Goldwasser says he thinks fans are open to new things.

“I feel like we have a mutual respect between us and our fans, where they trust us when we want to do something different, and they’re patient with us, and those are the fans we really want to keep around,” he said.

Video: 'Your Life Is a Lie' from the new album by MGMT

MGMT Songs Heard In This Segment

  • “Time To Pretend”
  • “A Good Sadness”
  • “Alien Days”
  • “Mystery Disease”
  • “Electric Feel”
  • “Cool Song No. 2”
  • “Plenty of Girls In The Sea”
  • “Astro Mancy”
  • “An Orphan of Fortune”
  • “Your Life Is A Lie”


  • Ben Goldwasser, founding member of MGMT. The band tweets @whoisMGMT.
  • Andrew VanWyngarden, founding member of MGMT.

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