2017: the year of 80s pop, synth-heavy new wave, and girl bands.
Not since Haim’s 2012 “Forever” EP have I stumbled upon a record written, produced, and performed solely by women–let alone been this excited about one. “About U,” MUNA’s debut LP, dropped just two weeks ago and is already shaping up to be one of my favorite new finds.
The Los Angeles-based trio, comprised of vocalist Katie Gavin alongside guitarists Naomi McPherson and Josette Maskin, effortlessly combine elements of pop, synth, and rock–creating a euphoric album where soaring highs meet heartbreaking lows–solidifying “About U” as a must-have listen.
Track one, “So Special,” sets the tone for the record as dreamy synth, echoing guitar, and a commanding drum beat intertwine with Gavin’s vocals. Its moody lyrics describe the realization of a dying love, but the overall feel of the song isn’t off-putting–enticing listeners to follow the chronology of a now broken relationship.
The next two songs off the record, “Loudspeaker” and “I Know A Place” are cheerier follow-ups to “So Special”–noticeably more upbeat with lyrics that encourage acceptance, self-love, and healing in the wake of pain. Catchy hooks, infectious melodies, and their empowering messages will keep you listening.
“Around U,” not to be confused with the LP’s title, is another noteworthy track. A true post-breakup anthem, “Around U” is one of the few (if only) straightforward pop songs on this record. Begging to be played at full volume, “Around U” was made to be danced to.
But it is the B-side of this vinyl that truly brings “About U” to life. Its ninth track, “Crying On The Bathroom Floor,” encompasses MUNA’s eclectic sound perfectly. Dark, broody, and laced in synth–“Crying On The Bathroom Floor” has never made heartbreak sound so good. MUNA recently performed the song on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!“–bringing its deep base and heavy beats off vinyl and into real life.
“About U” is 48 minutes of raw, unbridled emotion–entwined in something between dark synthpop and rock. A compelling listen from start to finish, MUNA’s debut LP is the perfect find for anyone looking for something new to add to their collection.