The crystalline pop music of Los Angeles’ MUNA trio explores themes of joy and exhilaration from gay perspectives. With their catchy single “I Know a Place,” they first gained widespread recognition in 2016. The album About U, Saves the World, and MUNA, their debut release on Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory label, were both made possible because to the song’s peak position in the Top 40 on the Billboard Adult Pop Music chart.
MUNA was established in 2013 by guitarist/vocalist Josette Maskin, guitarist/vocalist Naomi McPherson, and vocalist Katie Gavin, who met while attending the University of Southern California. They quickly finished recording their debut EP, More Perfect. The collection, which was released in the middle of 2014, combined their love of ’80s new wave and synth pop, R&B, and contemporary left-field pop.
Before releasing their sophomore EP, Loudspeaker, in May 2016, the group spent the following year developing new music and signing deals with RCA and National Anthem, respectively, in the United States and the United Kingdom. MUNA finished recording their debut album at the end of the year, and About U was the result.
It debuted in the Top Ten on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and was co-produced by the band and Dan Grech-Marguerat (Radiohead, Lana Del Rey) and featured the hit “I Know a Place.” In September of that year, right before they joined Harry Styles on tour, a follow-up non-album single called “In My Way” was released.
The group made a comeback in 2019 with the release of Saves the World, their heavier-hearted sophomore full-length that matched the success of their first album on the Heatseekers chart. MUNA released the single “Silk Chiffon” from their self-titled fourth long-player in 2022 after signing with Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory label in 2021.
Bridgers also made a cameo appearance on the song. The non-binary McPherson and the other two members all identify as LGBTQ. In spite of their initial reluctance to be labeled as a “queer band,” MUNA eventually grew to appreciate the chance to use their musical reputation to encourage young people to feel confident in their identities.