|Genres||Dark pop, pop rock|
|Associated acts||Harry Styles, Grouplove|
Muna (stylized as MUNA) is an American electronic pop band consisting of Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin, and Naomi McPherson.
Based in Los Angeles, the trio met in college at the University of Southern California and began working together in 2013 after discovering their musical chemistry at a party, when Maskin and McPherson began playing together on guitars and Gavin added vocals. Gavin and Maskin were music majors, while McPherson double-majored in Narrative Studies and American Studies & Ethnicity. 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.
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. 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.
All three members identify as queer. Initially wary of being pigeonholed as a "queer girl band", they later came to embrace the opportunity to use their musical notoriety 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." 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." 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."
Dutch DJ/producer Tiësto remixed "Winterbreak" in May 2016. Muna played Lollapalooza 2016 in Chicago in July 2016, 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. On June 6, 2017, it was announced via Twitter 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 its 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" and "Stayaway". 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.
Awards and honors
In June 2020, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ Pride parade, Queerty named them among the fifty heroes “leading the nation toward equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people”.
- "Winterbreak" (2016)
- "Loudspeaker" (2016)
- "I Know a Place" (2016)
- "Crying on the Bathroom Floor" (2017)
- "In My Way" (2017)
- "Number One Fan" (2019)
- "Who" (2019)
- "Stayaway" (2019)
- "Pipes of Peace" (2017)
- "Relief Next to Me" (2017)
- "Judas Kiss (The Turnin Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)" (2020)
- "Bodies (with The Knocks)" (2020)
- Avery Stone, "MUNA On Their Own Terms: "If We're Lucky Enough to Have a Platform, We Should Use That to Help People"", Noisey, May 10, 2016
- Mark Savage, "Muna interview: Defiant pop from LA rising stars", BBC, September 28, 2016
- Ian David Monroe, "MUNA Are Pioneering a New Identity in Pop Music", V Magazine, November 4, 2016
- "Muna – Winterbreak (Tiësto's Deep House Mix)", Tiëstosblog, retrieved November 18, 2016
- "retrieved November 21, 2016
- "Watch MUNA Make Their Late-Night TV Debut With "Loudspeaker" On Jimmy Fallon", Stereogum, November 8, 2016 (retrieved November 21, 2016)
- "Rᴀᴄʜ ✿ on Instagram: "muna were so good last night, even mum enjoyed the show! #concert #muna #music"". Instagram.
- "Queerty Pride50 2020 Honorees". Queerty. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
- 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.
- "Music - MUNA Official Site". MUNA Official Site. Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- "Saves the World by MUNA". Apple Music. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- Stone, Avery (May 10, 2016). "MUNA On Their Own Terms: "If We're Lucky Enough to Have a Platform, We Should Use That to Help People"". Vice.
- Daw, Stephen (March 9, 2018). "MUNA Commemorates Breakout Album With New EP 'About U: One Year On'". Billboard.
- MunaVEVO (March 14, 2016). "MUNA - Winterbreak (Official Video)". Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- MunaVEVO (July 26, 2016). "MUNA - Loudspeaker (Official Video)". Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- MunaVEVO (February 3, 2017). "MUNA - I Know A Place (Official Video)". Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- MunaVEVO (January 20, 2017). "MUNA - Crying on the Bathroom Floor (Audio)". Retrieved February 4, 2017.
- MunaVEVO (September 15, 2017). "MUNA - In My Way (Official Video)". Retrieved October 23, 2017.
- "number one fan. friday". June 4, 2019. Retrieved June 5, 2019 – via Twitter.
- @whereisMUNA (June 26, 2019). "who. friday" (Tweet). Retrieved June 27, 2019 – via Twitter.
- @whereisMUNA (August 12, 2019). "stayaway coming this friday" (Tweet). Retrieved August 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Kaufman, Gil (September 22, 2017). "Jimmy Fallon & Paul McCartney Cover 'Wonderful Christmastime' on 'Holiday's Rule Vol. 2' Album Featuring Norah Jones, Roseanne Cash, MUNA & Others". Billboard.
- Fossett, Jack (October 20, 2017). "Tegan and Sara's 'The Con X': Covers Features Mykki Blanco, Shamir & MUNA". Out.com.
- "The Turning (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Various Artists on Apple Music". Music.apple.com. January 24, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
- Matozzo, Marissa (August 22, 2020). "MUNA and The Knocks Miss Dancing in Basements on 'Bodies'". Paper.