They Might Be Giants’ third album and major-label debut, Flood, which came out 30 years ago this month, still stands as the band’s watershed moment.

“In so many ways, when people tell the standard ‘We got signed and it sucked’ stories, we had the opposite experience, and I feel very grateful that it was so positive,” says Flansburgh now.

Rather than having to kowtow to its new higher-ups at Elektra, the two-man band leaned even harder into its alternative-in-an-alternative-world musical offerings: one guy with an accordion, another with a guitar, who often used a metronome for percussion and played around with a Casio, whose lyrics preached adages like “No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful” over a deceptively cheery pop background.