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 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 record we all need in these turbulent times.
Turn to About U for an invigorating amount of empathy. Stream the album down below.