MGMT are inextricably tied to their hits. They’ve released four albums since their 2007 debut, Oracular Spectacular, but three songs from that record remain their most-streamed and biggest money-makers. “Kids” leads the pack with more than 260 million Spotify streams, followed by “Electric Feel” and “Time to Pretend.” The same songs have racked up hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. For many of the band’s fans and music aficionados of the aughts, it just doesn’t get better than the slinky electro-pop of “Electric Feel” or the ominous, tingling synth-rock of “Kids.”
But last year, in February of 2018, MGMT released their fifth LP, Little Dark Age, and while the album doesn’t quite reach the scope of Oracular, it honorably offers up the kind of catchy, bizarre singles we’ve come to expect from the band—tracks like “When You Die,” “Little Dark Age” and “Me and Michael,” which we named one of the year’s best songs. They’re the closest the band has come to matching the buoyant power of their late-2000s show-stoppers.
However, we mustn’t be quick to forget about the music that arrived between 2008 and 2018. In 2010, MGMT released another of their most beloved albums, Congratulations, and in the months following its release, they carved out time for Daytrotter session. On this day (Jan. 3) in 2011, Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden recorded their session at Echo Mountain in Asheville, N.C. From Congratulations, they performed “Songs for Dan Treacy,” “It’s Working” and “I Found A Whistle.” To close, they cranked out a cover of “Only a Shadow,” by The Cleaners From Venus, a band led by English multi-instrumentalist Martin Newell in the ’80s and ’90s.
You can listen to MGMT’s 2011 Daytrotter session below. Read our review of Little Dark Age here.