This cheery and upbeat sounding pop song features morose lyrics about the state of the nation in the Donald Trump era.
I'm not that nice
I'm mean and I'm evil
Don't call me nice
I'm gonna eat your heart out
I've got some work to do
Baby, I'm ready, I'm ready, ready, ready to blow my lid off
MGMT's Andrew VanWyngarden explained to The Guardian: "What Trump has done is just expose a whole lot of things that were there already. In When You Die, when we're saying 'I'm not that nice', it's owning up to existing in a modern United States of America: you're kind of part of this evil whether you want to be or not."
In a profile of MGMT in Q Magazine, co-producer Dave Fridmann reportedly encouraged Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser to bring in outside collaborators, which led them to work with Ariel Pink. The psychedelic singer-songwriter played guitar on and co-wrote "When You Die."
The surreal music video stars Alex Karpovsky (Ray from Girls) as a magician.
Ariel Pink wrote his queasy verse lyrics for the song in about four minutes. VanWyngarden recalled: "Ariel had this piece of paper, incorporating things we'd just been saying in the hallway. When I sang them, it was like; 'Yeah, why not? Why can't this be the lyrics?' For me that was really liberating, rather than sitting there like a poet, scratching out lines for days, trying to find some deep, multiple-meaning thing."