With their 2010 album Congratulations, Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT challenge their fan base with a broad, left-field pop sound that leaves audiences giddy.

Any band deserves kudos for overcoming the inevitable challenges of writing a new album. For most artists, the challenge stems from a shift in style, departed band members, or relinquishing studio leadership to a seasoned producer.

For a band whose debut spawned three singles (and a GRAMMY-winning remix treatment from Justice) that lit up radio, the blogosphere, and dancefloors all at once, MGMT faced the most crushing challenge of all: the sophomore slump. With a record as good as 2007’s Oracular Spectacular, lesser artists would recycle the hits with crossed fingers, hibernate until the buzz died down, or play it safe with side-projects and solo efforts.

MGMT dealt with the external pressure by imposing a bit of their own. The songwriting duo, Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, took the latent psychedelica of Oracular and blew them into 1970s proportions on their 2010 follow-up, Congratulations. They in turn challenged their fanbase with a broader, even more left-field pop sound that left audiences giddy.

Fitting that today’s free MP3 is “Brian Eno,” a stand-out track from Congratulations that demonstrates how MGMT addressed the above: with a faux British accent, ’60s surf guitars, and an unprecedented lyrical focus on one super-producer of modern pop and electronica (free MP3 to everyone who can guess his name!).

MGMT dealt with their obstacles by not taking themselves very seriously in a serious effort to further themselves, leaving the fans with more challenge – just try not to dance along.

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Watch MGMT perform “Brian Eno” and more live at Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco this coming weekend.

All this week, MP3.com shines a spotlight on Outside Lands, offering free music from some of our favorite performers. Download tracks from Old 97s, Best Coast, Deadmau5 and more here.

Buy tickets to the fourth annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival here — while they last!

For more free music from performers at Outside Lands Festival 2011, keep your eyes on the Spotlight.

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Artists: MGMT

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