Muna (band)

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MUNA performing in Minneapolis, 2022
MUNA performing in Minneapolis, 2022
Background information
Years active2013–present
  • Katie Gavin
  • Josette Maskin
  • Naomi McPherson
Musical career
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.

Muna (stylized as MUNA; /ˈmnə/ MOON[6]) is an American indie pop band consisting of Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin, and Naomi McPherson. They released two studio albums with RCA Records, About U (2017) and Saves the World (2019), before signing with independent label Saddest Factory Records, which released their third studio album, Muna, in June 2022.


2013–2019: Career beginnings, About U and Saves the World[edit]

Based in Los Angeles, the trio met in college at the University of Southern California and began working together in 2013 with Maskin and McPherson playing together on guitars and Gavin adding synth bass and vocals. Gavin had introduced McPherson to Maskin.[7] Gavin and Maskin were music majors, while McPherson double-majored in narrative studies and American studies & ethnicity.[8] The two guitarists, Maskin and McPherson, had been used to playing ska and progressive rock, but settled on a different sound when their initial collaboration with singer Gavin resulted in a pop song.[9]

Beginning their collaboration in an experimental mode, they evolved towards hooky electronic pop. In the summer of 2014, they self-released their debut EP, More Perfect, on Bandcamp and SoundCloud. Its success led to their signing by RCA Records in the US and Columbia Records in the UK. Gavin and McPherson dated for three years and broke up shortly after being signed.[7] RCA released their self-produced debut major label EP, Loudspeaker, in May 2016. Their debut full-length album, About U, was released on February 3, 2017.

Dutch DJ/producer Tiësto remixed "Winterbreak" in May 2016.[10] Muna played Lollapalooza 2016 in Chicago in July 2016,[11] toured America with Grouplove in the fall of 2016, and made their late-night network television debut on November 7, 2016, on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[12] In June 2017, it was announced that the band would be the opening act on the North American and European tour dates for Harry Styles. In 2017, their song "I Know a Place" was featured in The Carmilla Movie, following the original web series based on Sheridan Le Fanu's novella of the same name. In 2018, Muna was featured playing "I Know a Place" live in the Netflix movie Alex Strangelove, which chronicles the sexual awakening of teen protagonist Alex Truelove.

In 2018, the band began work on their second full-length record. In June 2019, the band announced their second album, Saves the World, which was released on September 6, 2019. The album was preceded by its lead single, "Number One Fan," followed by the singles "Who," "Stayaway," and "Taken." Following their London shows at the Village Underground, it was announced that Muna would be returning to the UK for their Saves the World Tour in December 2019.[13]

2020–present: Record label change and Muna[edit]

In 2020, shortly after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Muna were dropped by RCA for "not making enough money".[14][15] It was then announced in May 2021, that Muna had signed with Phoebe Bridgers' record label Saddest Factory, which operates in partnership with Secretly Group's Dead Oceans.[16] In September 2021, Muna released their single "Silk Chiffon" featuring Bridgers, their first since signing to the label. Rolling Stone called it a "buoyant track with an uncharacteristically bright declaration of queer love."[17] The song was chosen by a number of publications for their year-end lists of 2021, including Rolling Stone,[18] Consequence of Sound,[19] and Line of Best Fit, who ranked it at number one.[20] Muna later joined Kacey Musgraves's 15-city winter tour between January and February 2022.[21]

In March 2022, the band released the single "Anything But Me" and announced that their third studio album, self-titled Muna would be released on June 24, 2022, through Saddest Factory and Dead Oceans.[22] The following month, they performed the single on Ellen DeGeneres' final season of her daytime talk show.[23] The album's third single "Kind of Girl" was released in April 2022, alongside a Western-inspired video with the trio playing "with the gendered nature of the song".[24] The band performed the song on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon the following month.[25] Following their self-titled third album's release, Muna was acclaimed by music critics who have scored it as the band's highest-rated album according to media aggregate site Metacritic.[26] It became the band's first charting album on multiple charts including the UK Albums Chart, US Billboard 200 and in Australia and Scotland. The same day of release, Muna released the fourth single from the album "What I Want" with its music video.[27] The trio also released their cover of Britney Spears' "Sometimes" (1999) for the Hulu LGBTQ American romantic comedy film Fire Island in June 2022.[28]

Muna are currently an opening act on selected March through July 2023 US dates of Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour,[29] and the Australian leg of Lorde's Solar Power Tour.[30] In March 2023, Muna performed to a sold-out crowd of 15,000 people at the closing ceremony of WorldPride Sydney, alongside Ava Max and Kim Petras.[31] In April 2023, the band performed their first set at Coachella.[32] Shortly after, Muna released a new single "One That Got Away" alongside a "criminal underworld" inspired music video.[33]


All three members identify as queer[9] and McPherson is non-binary.[34] Initially wary of being pigeonholed as a "queer band", Muna later came to embrace the opportunity to use their musical fame to help inspire younger people to be comfortable with their identities. Their songs frequently address issues of sexuality and gender. They describe one early song, "So Special", as "an anthem for the slut-shamed girls of the world who have to assert their own value."[9] According to McPherson, "It would have meant a lot to me when I was, say, 12, to know of someone in a band and think they were cool and know they were out."[8] McPherson added, "I am out and I feel safe being out because the three of us are a little army for one another. I don't feel afraid to be myself. That makes me proud to be queer. That's the whole point of why we do this. We want a safe haven."[35]

Awards and honors[edit]

In June 2020, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ pride parade, Queerty named Muna among the fifty heroes "leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people".[36][37]






  1. ^ Daw, Stephen (March 15, 2022). "Muna Is Back: Indie-Pop Trio Announces Self-Titled Album, Shares 'Anything But Me' Video". Billboard. Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  2. ^ Darville, Jordan (March 15, 2022). "Muna announce new self-titled album with single 'Anything But Me'". The Fader. Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  3. ^ Valentine, Claire (March 15, 2022). "Muna Announce Self-Titled Album, Share New Single". Nylon. Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  4. ^ Abraham, Amelia (February 3, 2017). "Californian dark-pop trio Muna: 'We don't sugar-coat things'". The Guardian. Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  5. ^ "Farrell". Flood. March 15, 2022. Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  6. ^ "4 Things About Muna You Should Know!". Billboard. August 13, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2021 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ a b Las Culturistas with Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang, "Hot Enough To Go For It (w/ Muna)", July 20, 2022
  8. ^ a b Stone, Avery (May 10, 2016). "If We're Lucky Enough to Have a Platform, We Should Use That to Help People". Vice. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  9. ^ a b c Savage, Mark (September 28, 2016). "Muna interview: Defiant pop from LA rising stars". BBC. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  10. ^ "Muna – Winterbreak (Tiësto's Deep House Mix)". Tiëstosblog. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  11. ^ "retrieved November 21, 2016
  12. ^ Rettig, James (November 8, 2016). "Watch Muna Make Their Late-Night TV Debut With "Loudspeaker" On Jimmy Fallon". Stereogum. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  13. ^ Rᴀᴄʜ ✿ [@dreamluminosity] (September 11, 2019). "muna were so good last night, even mum enjoyed the show! #concert #muna #music". Archived from the original on December 24, 2021. Retrieved December 11, 2022 – via Instagram.
  14. ^ Bernstein, Jonathan (March 15, 2022). "Life's So Fun: Muna Choose Happiness". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  15. ^ Richards, Will (November 25, 2022). "MUNA discuss the "creative freedom" given to them on Phoebe Bridgers' label". NME. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  16. ^ Moore, Sam (May 19, 2021). "Muna sign to Phoebe Bridgers' label Saddest Factory Records". NME. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  17. ^ Zemler, Emily (November 9, 2021). "Phoebe Bridgers Takes Muna to Prom With 'Silk Chiffon' on 'Corden'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  18. ^ "The 50 Best Songs of 2021". Rolling Stone. December 6, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  19. ^ "Top 50 Songs of 2021". Consequence of Sound. December 6, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  20. ^ "The Best Songs of 2021 Ranked". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  21. ^ Jossell, Shar (September 1, 2021). "Kacey Musgraves Teaming Up With Muna and King Princess for 2022 Tour". Them. Retrieved January 26, 2022.
  22. ^ Kenneally, Cerys (March 15, 2022). "Muna announce self-titled album with new single "Anything But Me"". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  23. ^ Garro, Adrian (April 19, 2022). "Muna Brings Infectious New Single "Anything But Me" to 'Ellen' — Debut LP Out 6/24 on Saddest Factory Records". Rockcellar Magazine. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  24. ^ Lavin, Will (April 28, 2022). "Muna share empowering new single 'Kind Of Girl'". NME. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  25. ^ "Watch Muna Play 'Kind of Girl' On the Tonight Show". DIY. June 14, 2022. Retrieved June 14, 2022.
  26. ^ "Muna by Muna Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  27. ^ Bouza, Kat (June 24, 2022). "Muna Serves Us Pure Early 2000s Celebrity Fantasy in 'What I Want'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  28. ^ Brodsky, Rachel (June 3, 2022). "Muna – "Sometimes" (Britney Spears Cover)". Stereogum. Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  29. ^ Willman, Chris (November 1, 2022). "Taylor Swift Announces 2023 'Eras Tour' of U.S. Stadiums". Variety. Retrieved November 1, 2022.
  30. ^ Robinson, Ellie (November 10, 2022). "MUNA to support Lorde on Australian 'Solar Power' tour dates". NME. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
  31. ^ Gallagher, Alex (October 11, 2022). "MUNA, G Flip and Peach PRC join Kylie Minogue on Sydney WorldPride 2023 line-up". NME. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  32. ^ Robinson, Ellie (April 15, 2023). "Watch MUNA premiere new song 'One That Got Away' at Coachella 2023". NME. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  33. ^ Rettig, James (April 17, 2023). "MUNA Share New Single "One That Got Away": Listen". NME. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  34. ^ "Naomi McPherson Twitter". Twitter. Archived from the original on May 26, 2022. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  35. ^ Monroe, Ian David (November 4, 2016). "Muna Are Pioneering a New Identity in Pop Music". V Magazine. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  36. ^ "Queerty Pride50 2020 Honorees". Queerty. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  37. ^ Tracer, Daniel (July 15, 2020). "These musicians became queer role models young fans need, and they're changing the world for good". Queerty. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  38. ^ "MUNA Announces "Lay Down Your Weapons Tour"". Digital Tour Bus. November 29, 2016. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  39. ^ Martoccio, Angie (June 18, 2019). "Muna Announces Fall Headline Tour". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  40. ^ Hatfield, Amanda. "MUNA announce new LP, North American tour (watch "Anything But Me" video)". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  41. ^ "Bimini announced as UK support act for queer pop trio MUNA". Kerrang!. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  42. ^ Robinson, Ellie (January 11, 2023). "MUNA announce 'Life's So Fun' North American tour with Nova Twins". NME. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  43. ^ "Grouplove Announce New Album Big Mess, Plus a World Tour". Paste Magazine. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  44. ^ "Bleachers Announces Fall Tour". Pitchfork. May 31, 2017. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  45. ^ Britton, Luke Morgan (June 6, 2017). "MUNA announced as Harry Styles' tour support". NME. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  46. ^ "Muna are supporting The 1975 for two shows this November | Dork". September 17, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  47. ^ "Phoebe Bridgers Announces 2021 U.S. Tour". Pitchfork. July 12, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  48. ^ Hatfield, Amanda (May 6, 2022). "MUNA, Sloppy Jane, Christian Lee Hutson & more opening Phoebe Bridgers' tour". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  49. ^ Matuson, Lexi (October 19, 2021). "Show Review: Bleachers - Philadelphia, 9/23 | The Mann". Ascribe Magazine. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  50. ^ "Kacey Musgraves Teaming Up With Muna and King Princess for 2022 Tour". Them. September 1, 2021. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  51. ^ Robinson, Ellie (November 10, 2022). "MUNA to support Lorde on Australian 'Solar Power' tour dates". NME. Retrieved April 6, 2023.
  52. ^ Dailey, Hannah (November 11, 2022). "Here Are the Artists Opening for Taylor Swift's Eras Tour: Paramore, Phoebe Bridgers & More". Billboard. Retrieved April 6, 2023.

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