MGMT Share Video for New Song “Dancing In Babylon” (Feat. Christine and the Queens) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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MGMT Share Video for New Song “Dancing In Babylon” (Feat. Christine and the Queens)

Loss of Life Due Out This Friday via Mom + Pop

Feb 20, 2024
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MGMT (Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser) are releasing a new album, Loss of Life, this Friday via Mom + Pop. Now they have shared its fourth single, “Dancing In Babylon,” which is a duet with Christine and the Queens. It was shared via a decidedly 1980s-styled music video that also features Christine and the Queens. Watch it below.

Ray Tintori directed the video and Tintori previously made videos for MGMT’s “Time to Pretend,” “Electric Feel,” and “Kids,” from their 2007-released debut album, Oracular Spectacular. The video also features John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), British actor Julian Morris (Pretty Little Liars, New Girl), and his real-life husband, artist Landon Ross.

Christine and the Queens had this to say about the collaboration in a press release: “I always loved MGMT’s multiverse, their freedom and talent, their limpid songwriting and killer soundscapes. Regal, inspiring. When they reached out for this power ballad, I was honored and also excited to dive into their dream, because I have the same all-encompassing approach with my work. I loved the backstory of the lyrics as well, and I work my lower register here more than usual. I felt invited into their cool movie, and I’m glad to be now a part of the galaxy. Let’s work on more love in the love galaxy.”

Of the music video, Christine and the Queens adds: “I went back for the second day of shoot—the day where they decided to reinterpret a war scene, but with delirious soldier fits, very Cronenberg, with mushes of brain as knickers and, on my own armor, a pussy-shaped flesh. I love how the video developed into this baroque odysseus of love. I love how personal and insane it gets with them. Very rejuvenating and liberating. And also, more utopias like this. Resistance is in our imagination. We can alchemize all this world’s pain and turn it into hope, for a better future. Literally, put flowers back at the end of guns. This is a good song for that. Love songs cure despair. End of transmission.”

MGMT collectively had this to add about the video and its sandwich: “Creating the ‘Dancing in Babylon’ video with Chris and Ray was a prodigious affair (love), requiring everyone involved to operate in six dimensions at once, all while simultaneously making a simple turkey sandwich with Dijon mustard. The sandwich that emerged is a cosmic mille-feuille that would be presentable in most high-end French diners.”

Previously MGMT shared the album’s first single, “Mother Nature,” via a music video. “Mother Nature” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared its second single, “Bubblegum Dog,” via a music video that pays homage to some of the classic 1990s alternative music videos. “Bubblegum Dog” was also one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared its third single, “Nothing to Declare.”

Loss of will be the band’s first new album in six years. It is the band’s fifth album and the follow-up to 2018’s Little Dark Age, which many viewed as a return to form and was released via Columbia (as were their previous albums). Little Dark Age’s title track became a viral hit during the pandemic and is the band’s third most streamed song of all-time, behind their early hits “Electric Feel” and “Kids.”

This time the duo worked with producer Patrick Wimberly (Beyoncé, Lil Yachty) and longtime collaborator Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Spoon). As he’s done with all their previous albums, Fridmann mixed Loss of Life. There also additional production work done on the album by Daniel Lopatin (aka Oneohtrix Point Never), Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) and James Richardson. Miles A. Robinson was also an associate producer and engineer on the album.

Loss of Life includes the first ever feature appearance on an MGMT album when Christine and the Queens appear on the song “Dancing in Babylon.”

MGMT had this to say about Loss of Life: “All joking aside (never!), we are very proud of this album and the fact that it was a relatively painless birth after a lengthy gestation period, and are happy to be releasing this baby into the world with Mom+Pop. Musically speaking, we are running at around 20% adult contemporary and no more than this, please.”

Writer/director/The Best Show co-host Tom Scharpling has written an essay about Loss of Life and had this to say: “Simply put, the guys did it again! They’re now five-for-five, which last time I checked gets you into virtually any Hall of Fame. This record projects an aura of undeniable warmth throughout, an album brimming with comfortable confidence. There are epic tracks and intimate portraits, a little bit of glam here, some psych-folk there. It’s a slice of magic that fits perfectly into the MGMT oeuvre while expanding the boundaries once again.”

The album’s cover artwork is a 2006 painting by John Baldessari, Noses & Ears, Etc. (Part Two): Two (Flesh) Faces with (Blue) Ears and Noses, Two (Flesh) Hands, and Hobby Horse, 2006.

Read our 2018 interview with MGMT on Little Dark Age.

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