Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser’s fourth MGMT album has been something of a long time coming. They’ve been teasing a return – which has been on the cards since 2015 - for quite some time, finally teasing on Twitter that they were set to return with their new album, ‘Little Dark Age’. It’s now been a decade since they released ‘Oracular Spectacular’ and speaking to Zane Lowe about the new record’s title track – their first in four years - they said: “it was the sort of chemistry, the kind of magic feeling we had when we started the band”.
But make no mistake: this is not a completely upbeat number that could soundtrack the summer like ‘Electric Feel’. Its slightly twisted video is enough to signal that. Instead, it’s a tread into darker territory. Sure, the synths are shimmering, the pair still bring out a melodic earworm of a hook and there’s a semi-baroque breakdown, but the underlying tone is often gloomier. Andrew in particular cuts a solitary figure in the chorus, as he sings in an almost deadpan manner that “you’ll see me standing all alone” on the stage, or saying that “the feelings start to rot/ One week at a time”.
Despite the bleakness embedded within it though, MGMT still manage to make it fun, toeing the line between danceable and moody. It’s a sure sign that this will be far from a dark age for the pair.