Earlier this year, MGMT released their 4th single from their recent album Little Dark Age, called “Me and Michael”. The song came with an amusing, thought-stimulating video that features the band members finding a song on YouTube called “Ako at si Michael” and together deciding to steal it and record it in English. The song becomes a hit, but at the end, the scandal is revealed. With the launch of the official music video, MGMT released another clip, where you can hear the “original” song.

MGMT’s imaginary plagiarism made me realize that maybe they were trying to tell us something real about the way they create; listening to the song alone, it’s hard to miss the European synth-pop inspiration. This might be a legitimate homage rather than a blatant theft, but it invites a discussion about imitation and copying as part of a creative process. This unusual step of releasing two songs might be the way MGMT is dealing with questions such as, what’s the fine line between plagiarism and tribute? Or, is it right to appropriate a part of somebody else’s art into your own art?

This playlist starts with “Me and Michael” and continues with tracks that are reminiscent of music that was created long before they were.

Listen on Spotify:

Listen on Apple Music: