Meaning of MGMT by Little Dark Age & The Story Behind

MGMT is an American music duo based in Brooklyn, New York. Previously called The Management, but was renamed as a band with that name already existed. The band rose to prominence with their debut album Oracular Spectacular, which is considered a great example of indie pop and electropop.

The song “Little Dark Age”, as well as the video clip for it, was released on October 17, 2017, is the title track and the first single from the MGMT album of the same name. According to many critics, the track, just like the video, is rather atypical and even gloomy for the group. Despite this, the song received mostly positive reviews.

Keyboardist Ben Goldwasser shared that the band danced to the track in the recording studio when they finished recording it, adding, “It’s nice to make fun music.” It is quite interesting to hear about such positive emotions of one of the authors, despite the overall gloom and dullness of the composition. Controversially, the enigmatic lyrics of the electro-gothic track seem to be about some kind of apocalyptic doom:

If you get out of bed and see me standing alone
Open your eyes and burn the page
My little dark age.

An interesting fact is that the video for the gothic track, directed by David McNutt and Nathaniel Axel, literally translates the medieval title of the composition, as the MGMT duo is pursued by the figure of Death. In turn, critics noted the picture and acting inside the clip, as well as the atmosphere that reigned on the set, not to mention the track itself, of course.

There are several theories among the band’s fans about some personal meaning to the song for one of its writers, Andrew VanWyngarden. The essence of one of them is that Andrew sings specifically about a certain part of his life (perhaps even a period of creative crisis), and he chose the “dark age” as a suitable allegory. Another theory is that Andrew is actually referring to the part of his life and the work of the group, which was before or after the recording of their third album “MGMT”. The album was a clear attempt to move away from what made the guys popular and, alas, turned out to be a big failure. Precisely on this basis, the period of Andrew’s life before writing the next album (which is about five years) could become a kind of time of a real creative crisis, a residual phenomenon from disappointment in the previous album.

The title of the song literally translates as “little dark age”. The undoubted advantage of the composition is the opportunity for each listener to find their own meaning in it, and maybe even partially see themselves, but first things first. Quite ambiguous among critics is the question of whether the theme of the modern gray world, or rather the “dark and gloomy” age that has come on our planet, of how humanity will continue to exist is raised in the song. Of course, such a theme has a place to be: the main idea of ​​the song can be interpreted as a desire to show where humanity is still at the moment. The “Dark Age” can be associated with the political situation in the world, the collapse of culture, as well as the digital age.

The most obvious and popular is the theory that the meaning of the song is based specifically on the feelings and emotions of a person, his experiences and the fragile, but at the same time such a mysterious and gloomy inner world. The song clearly shows the desire to escape from reality and hide from the problems of the outside world. So, for example, a line from the chorus, translated as “Just know, even if you hide, it won’t disappear,” can be a pretty complete illustration for depression. Rhythmic vocal every now and then, as it were, returns the listener to reality, reminds of the existence of unresolved pressing problems.

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