Los Angeles-based trio MUNA – composed of Katie Gavin (she/they), Naomi McPherson(they/them), and Josette Maskin (she/they) have today released new single ‘Kind of Girl‘ along with a Taylor James-directed video, taken from their upcoming self-titled album out June 24 via SaddestFactory Records.
Katie Gavin of MUNA tells us “This song is the album’s country moment, and in some ways we feel it is the heart of the record. This song explores the power of language and the words we use to describe who we are and who we want to be. Even though it is a happy, hopeful song, I shed the most tears of the record in the vocal booth recording this chorus. I think there’s something very vulnerable about plainly expressing my desire to be kinder to myself and comfortable receiving love (and my desire to garden even though I kill everything I plant).”
Gavin continues “The video for this song highlights another layer of meaning that we feel the song holds, which is that we as queer people are particularly vulnerable when we are sharing how we identify and how we would like to be perceived. We wanted to play with the gendered nature of this song because we all three have different relationships to girlhood (and Naomi is non-binary, so not a girl at all!). It was a gift to be able to king for this video in a way that felt earnest and comfortable and hot. The experience brought home the fact that it’s not enough for queer and trans people to be clear about who we are – we also need a community around us that hears us, believes us, honors us, and supports us. We’re very proud of what we made and grateful to everyone who was a part of it. We hope the bigots absolutely hate it.”
MUNA is magic. What other band could have stamped the forsaken year of 2021 with spangles and pom-poms, could have made you sing (and maybe even believe) that “Life’s so fun, life’s so fun,” during what may well have been the most uneasy stretch of your life? ‘Silk Chiffon’, MUNA’s instant-classic cult smash, featuring the band’s new label head Phoebe Bridgers, hit the grey skies of the pandemic’s year-and-a-half mark like a double rainbow. Since MUNA — lead singer/songwriter Katie Gavin, guitarist/producer Naomi McPherson, guitarist Josette Maskin — began making music together in college, at USC, they’d always embraced pain as a bedrock of longing, a part of growing up, and an inherent factor of marginalized experience: the band’s members belong to queer and minority communities, and play for these fellow-travelers above all. But sometimes, for MUNA, after nearly a decade of friendship and a long stretch of pandemic-induced self-reckoning, the most radical note possible is that of bliss.
MUNA, the band’s self-titled third album, is a landmark — the forceful, deliberate, dimensional output of a band who has nothing to prove to anyone except themselves. The synth on ‘What I Want‘ scintillates like a Robyn dance-floor anthem; ‘Anything But Me’, galloping in 12/8, gives off Shania Twain in eighties neon; ‘Kind of Girl‘, with its soaring, plaintive The Chickschorus, begs to be sung at max volume with your best friends. It’s marked by a newfound creative assurance and technical ability, both in terms of McPherson and Maskin’s arrangements and production as well as Gavin’s songwriting, which is as propulsive as ever, but here opens up into new moments of perspective and grace. Here, more than ever, MUNA musters their unique powers to break through the existential muck and transport you, suddenly, into a room where everything is possible — a place where the disco ball’s never stopped throwing sparkles on the walls, where you can sweat and cry and lie down on the floor and make out with whoever, where vulnerability in the presence of those who love you can make you feel momentarily bulletproof, and self-consciousness only sharpens the swell of joy.