MUNA isn’t afraid to be honest. The LA-based band uses their entrancing pop music to contribute to a much bigger conversation – a human conversation. Their debut album is finally here, only a couple weeks after the inauguration, and its fruitful messages are reaching starving ears around the globe.
About U, the mystifying debut from Katie Gavin (lead vocals/production), Josette Maskin (lead guitar), and Naomi McPherson (rhythm guitar/synths/production) is effortless ’80s pop on the surface. But dive deeper and find that it touches on almost every kind of emotional roller coaster. Obsessive love and self-hate. Anger and regret. Passion and confusion. Self-identity and internal frustration.
After giving The Loudspeaker EP a few spins, fans had a feeling MUNA’s debut album would blend the best of many of their beloved dark pop bands.
But About U goes farther and cuts deeper than any album in recent memory. It’s a slick and honest 12-track record that comments on social and political pressures, and the overall beauty and pain of life.
Over the course the album, MUNA offers a fierce perspective on a range of issues and topics, touching on women’s rights (“Loudspeaker”), abusive relationships (“Crying on the Bathroom Floor”) and a host of others with an unbridled passion.
Most notably, the rallying dance track “I Know a Place” speaks directly to (and for) the LGBT community after the Orlando club shooting. The soaring single offers some hip-shaking relief, but compels persecutors to “lay down their weapon” and start building toward a better society. There’s a better place somewhere for us all, “even if it’s only in my imagination,” croons lead singer Katie Gavin.
The self-proclaimed queer group continues to make remarkable strides in lyrical storytelling, even using “you” to avoid gender-based pronouns. So, in a way, MUNA makes About U – well, about all of us.
Their masterful synthpop captures the highs and lows of what it’s like to live and love in a confusing world. It’s the personal pop protest record we all need in these turbulent times.
Turn to About U for an invigorating amount of empathy. Stream the album down below.