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September 2019

MUNA: “When we first wrote a pop song, I was absolutely shocked.”

With a bond to be reckoned with, underground pop sensation MUNA make for a formidable trio.
Published: 9:36 am, February 21, 2017
MUNA: “When we first wrote a pop song, I was absolutely shocked.”
"Dude you know I’ve always fucked with them!” exclaims Josette Maskin. The topic of MUNA’s very first EP has arisen, and the memories are flooding back of the countless hours spent fine-crafting the first sounds of a trio on the cusp of something massive. That EP made its way onto Bandcamp, and now demand is flying with a legion of fans longing to hear the now-missing collection. It’s a re-release that’s already a hot topic, a career retrospective of sorts for a band already dealing in certified bangers at every turn.

“I’d love to put it back out,” continues Josette. “We called it ‘More Perfect’ so it was a kinda statement for doing it all ourselves and learning how to produce. I love those songs because they got us to where we are today so...”

What follows is three best friends rolling through those formative moments, an eye into the world of a band who dive through their days with each other, who bounce off each other’s every word and who are already looking at that career retrospective. “It’s a bit early for that now girls,” declares lead singer Katie Gavin when the discussions subside, “let’s wait for people to know who we are.”

For MUNA, that wait is already at the gates of something bigger - and their importance is palpable. Bringing shimmering 80s pop-noir right into the 21st Century, their infectious knack for energy and pulling the joy out of every moment of darkness means that they’re primed and ready at the top of pop’s royal table. With MUNA though, they’re ready to take that table out into the world, and everyone’s invited to sit around it - a powerful blend of everything pure and real about music’s ability to change lives.

After all, MUNA itself changed its member’s lives in a way only destiny could properly explain.

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Meeting at the University of Southern California, there was always a sense that the three of them had found in each other the strength and muse to their every emotion. It quickly became clear just how vital the three of them were to each other, a sense of family and a connection that radiates through everything they do.

“It’s interesting,” ponders Naomi McPherson. “We knew that we were going to play an important role in each other’s lives, but just didn’t know it’d be in this sort of capacity. We became best friends, very intimate and very close, very open - and very quickly into our friendships. I didn’t know that I’d ever have friends like this, it’s like we’re married!”

Having that connection and that kinship within one another is a special thing. Many spend their lives chasing it, spending money in the hope of finding it - but in MUNA, that tight-knit support and unbridled love is living and breathing in stunning technicolour. In each other, the band didn’t need anyone else - and that spinning creativity allowed them to be free in every direction and simply enjoy the feeling of creating and being with each other. If the term, ‘let nature take its course’ was ever suitable for any band, then for MUNA, it paved the way.

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Josette saw that initial process of defining the band they were as one that sat completely open. “When we first started, we were throwing shit against a wall. It was really experimental, we were just seeing where it could all go. When we first wrote a pop song, I was absolutely shocked. I’d never written pop music before and I never really listened to a lot of pop music, so it really hit me in the face. I feel like it kinda just happened to us, and then it all started to make sense.”

What pop music has needed for a while now, is not only a band and a voice that can cut above the world around them but one that can shift and look to change it. As heard ringing through their debut album ‘About U’, MUNA are painting a masterpiece that’s gearing up to be recognised far beyond the dorms and halls they first called home. The power of family, love and friendship have never been more vital.

It’s a statement Naomi keeps close to mind. “I feel like sometimes I take for granted what good friendships I have with Josette and Katie, not everybody gets to have that. By being in a band, we’re trying to encourage that vulnerability, to look for that connection with other people, and to be as open as you can be.”

In a world where doors are being shut at every turn, MUNA’s open door is the stand of defiance we need.

MUNA’s debut album ‘About U’ is out now.

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