In an interview with American Songwriter published on November 8, 2010, VanWyngarden and Goldwasser said their third album will be self-titled, and that "usually if we say something and it gets published, we stick to it. That's what happened with Congratulations." Regarding the content of the album, Goldwasser said "Something that'd be fun to do is have a decent number of songs on the album that can easily be extended or have sections that could turn into a really trance-y, repetitive thing live."When in Argentina to perform on January 22, 2011, they told Rocktails they have worked on some sounds but that there are no clear ideas yet. On February 28, 2011, they told Coup de Main magazine that they will be on tour until April, when they will begin work on demos for the third album. On January 26, 2012 MGMT confirmed in an interview with Gibby Haynes of Butthole Surfers in the inaugural issue of Intercourse Magazine that they had started work on the album. VanWyngarden stated that he has written five songs, inspired by R.E.M.. On February 27, the band began recording the album at Tarbox Road Studios with producer Dave Fridmann.
On March 1, Andrew VanWyngarden revealed in an interview that they will perform new songs on their upcoming shows in Argentina, Chile, México, Colombia, Brazil and Puerto Rico. On March 30, the band premiered a new song, "Alien Days", at a show in Bogotá, Colombia. at the Festival Estereo Picnic. The song was also played at the following shows in Latin America. On August 3, Andrew VanWyngarden told "The Morning Call" that their new album was "too good not to talk about". He said he was enjoying it, it sounds close to Congratulations, and they're "making good songs".On January 29, 2013, the band told Rolling Stone that they "are not trying to make music that everyone understands the first time they hear it." They also confirmed that a song entitled "Mystery Disease" and a cover of Faine Jade's 1968 track "Introspection" will be included on the album. On March 4, 2013 MGMT released information about their 2013 tour that started April 26 and ended on May 18. On March 6, 2013 MGMT's producer Dave Fridmann stated on his website that the album was about to be finished.
On June 9, the band confirmed on their official Twitter account that they were going to finish the album cover later that day. On June 10, Dave Fridmann updated his website with the news that the album could be out sometime in August. On June 25, MGMT revealed via their website that the album is due for release on September 17, 2013. The band confirmed via Twitter that their new video for "Your Life Is a Lie" will come out on August 5, and it's accompanied with an interactive kaleidoscopic video embedded on their official website. MGMT released their full album "MGMT" prematurely via Twitter on September 9 saying they had a "surprise". Days before its official release, was made pre-release of the album in the service Rdio on September 9, 2013.