Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Oracular SpectacularReleased: 2007Charted:
This song about being filled with such typical college feelings as naivety, idealism, nostalgia, happiness and sadness was originally part of MGMT's debut release, a 2005 EP "Time to Pretend." Cantora Records, who released the EP, was set up by a group of NYU students specifically to showcase the New York band's songs.
MGMT member Ben Goldwasser told The Independent November 21, 2008 that this song, "was a result of us being 19 years old, in this fantasy college world, which is a little bit like childhood because you don't have much responsibility."
This slacker anthem was named as the best track of 2008 by the journalists of the New Musical Express.
This was first song that Goldwasser and his MGMY partner Andrew VanWyngaeden ever wrote together on arriving at Wesleyan University.
MGMT threatened to sue French President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party after it used this song at its national congress in January 2009 without permission and also in online videos. Faced with the threat of a lawsuit, the UMP agreed to pay a financial compensation to the band. MGMT announced the settlement on their website saying: "We did not want to be 'typical Americans' and sue, despite the amazing monetary benefit and chinchilla coats and Navigators it would bring, instead we are using the settlement fee the UMP presented and donating it to artists' rights organizations."
VanWyngarden told Mojo May 2010 that Goldwasser "wrote the music for 'Kids' when he was 19, drunk in his dorm room. Then I wrote the lyrics on my 20th birthday, the night that we were gonna play it to people for the first time. I know that they're vaguely inspired by David Byrne's nostalgic lyrics, but it doesn't make any sense."
He added: "I remember that I was thinking about musicians as having this big voice, and what are they gonna do with it? I was thinking we'd get everybody to realise that we're all little kids at some point - people that are evil and doing hideous stuff right now, like George Bush or whoever, they were once little innocent beings. Something simple like that. I'm glad that people like it. It's a catchy song."