Quick Facts About MUNA
The members met in college, but they weren’t all music students. Naomi McPherson was double-majoring in Narrative Studies and Ethnicity, all the while maintaining a passion for music.
They came from different musical backgrounds. Maskin and McPherson, the band’s two guitarists, were more familiar with prog-rock and ska, two genres that differ significantly from MUNA’s poppy sound. However, Katie Gavin’s interest in pop music, as well as her distinct voice, helped the band form a more cohesive sonic identity.
All three members of MUNA identify as queer, but they’re not fans of being described as a “queer band.” Nevertheless, they do their best to use their music to create a safe space for their queer listeners. McPherson has said, “It would have meant a lot to me when I was, say, 12, to know of someone in a band and think they were cool and know they were out.” All of the band’s members aspire to be proudly out – but they don’t want to base their musical identities solely on their sexual identities.
MUNA: Awards and Appearances
Queerty magazine included MUNA in their 2020 list of fifty heroes “leading the nation towards equality, acceptance, and dignity for all people.” This honor was given to the band as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first LGBTQ pride parade.
One of MUNA’s songs was included in the soundtrack for the film Promising Young Woman. “Nihilist,” a single by the band, was featured in the award-winning film, which stars Carey Mulligan, Alison Brie, and comedian Bo Burnham.
MUNA has appeared on The Tonight Show, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, and they made their touring debut when they opened for Grouplove.
A remix by DJ Tiesto helped them break through into the mainstream – ”Winterbreak,” a track the band released as part of their debut album, About U. Tiesto’s remix exposed the band to the DJ’s legion of devoted fans.
Katie Gavin, the band’s lead singer, was born on December 30th, 1992, in Chicago, Illinois. She is 28 years old, and her star sign is Capricorn.
Based on the commercial performance of their music, MUNA is estimated to have a collective net worth of $459,000 dollars per year.
Making a Connection with Listeners
In a 2019 interview with the band’s three members, NPR’s Catherine Whelan commented on MUNA’s unique ability to connect with their fans. Saves the World, the band’s sophomore album and the focal point of that interview, was, according to singer Katie Gavin, a lesson in connection. “I’ve learned so much from [the band] about intimacy, and what it requires in terms of showing up in a vulnerable way,” Gavin said to NPR.
The three members of MUNA have an intense emotional connection with each other, and that connection is something that they hope to pass on to their fans and anyone who hears their music. In their interview with NPR, the band described how their friendships with each other have been some of the most important fruits that their musical collaboration has borne. “I think from my perspective at least,” McPherson said to NPR, “the fact that we have found each other and have such a rich friendship has made us feel substantially less alone and less different.”
The lyrics and themes in much of MUNA’s music focus on those feelings – loneliness and a sense of being “different” – and tracks like “I Know a Place” are anthems for the outcasts of the world. The band's fan base loves them not only for their music but for their vulnerability and bigheartedness as well. It’s these qualities that have helped them establish such a deep connection with listeners.
What’s Next for MUNA?
After the release of two highly successful albums, fans have spent over a year anticipating what’s to come for MUNA. In May 2021, the band announced that they had signed to Saddest Factory, a label run by indie-pop icon Phoebe Bridgers. The partnership for Bridgers is a sign of a promising future for the band, whose fans are already gearing up for new music.
In the in-between period since their last full-length release, the band has created several authorized remixes for artists like Now, Now, Lauren Aquilina, and others. They also released a single, “Bodies,” in 2020, but fans are hungry for more.