Since their formation in 2013, L.A. pop trio MUNA have impressed listeners with their upbeat and progressive pop style. Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson are not afraid of challenging their fanbase and have done just that on their first full length album titled About U. Full of self-reflection, the album is a celebration of life’s highest highs and inevitable lows.
MUNA appear at a crucial time in our contemporary culture. Each of the band’s three members are openly queer, a fact that resonates with so many of their young fans. The band makes an effort to encourage listeners to accept their own identities and the identities of others by avoiding the use of gender-specific pronouns in their music. Through this small, but meaningful detail, MUNA allow themselves and their fans to feel valid in their self-expression.
This album has the potential to define a new generation of female voices in popular music. “So Special” and “I Know A Place” are anthemic and proud, euphoric in their reflection of heartache. Though the album is primarily synth-driven, there is no masking the glory of Katie Gavin’s soaring voice. “Every time I don’t shut up, it’s revolution,” Gavin declares unflinchingly on lead single, “Loudspeaker.” Bold and brazen, MUNA stands out as the independent and fearless female artists we so desperately need right now.
In all its glittering grandeur, About U shines in its downplayed moments. These are women who emit an effortlessly cool alt-pop vibe, and who also own up to their flaws. “Around U” and “If U Love Me Now” are nostalgic and emotional tracks that showcase the best qualities of dark-pop. MUNA find strength in their mistakes, hope in their fears, self-worth in their self-consciousness. We can all stand to learn a bit from the inclusive confidence enveloped in each one of these perfectly crafted pop anthems.