The psych-pop union of MGMT.EXPAND
The psych-pop union of MGMT.

Noisy, Experimental Music Is the Hallmark of MGMT

A lot of people came to Connecticut-born psych-pop group MGMT via their hit song, “Kids,” from their debut record Oracular Spectacular, released in 2007. You know it: “Control yourself / Take only what you need from it / A family of trees wanting to be haunted.” It was a song built for chanting; its anthemic edge encouraged it to be belted out at full volume.

The door-opening track was a good foray into the music world created by Andrew VanWynGarden and Ben Goldwasser, who both handle vocals and multiple instrument duties. The pair met in college and bonded over a mutual interest in noisy and experimental music.

Those are two components that have stayed consistent in their union, which now includes four full-lengths. Their self-titled 2013 release really shows off a love of electro-noise. Songs like “I Love You to Death” and “Alien Days” employ sonic twists and pops that recall ’80s wave-y synth masters, like Gary Numan. Their latest, Little Dark Age, maintains that sensibility but envelops more of the pop sounds their earlier releases are known for; it is threaded from beginning to end with a jumpy and infectious drive. Though the two founders are the main force of the band, they are joined with a few more musicians to complete the touring lineup that you’ll see in Tempe.

MGMT perform Sunday, May 20, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe. Tickets are $45 to $75 through marqueetheatreaz.com.

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