Home ArtsMusic Muna’s Fresh Start – The New York Times

Muna’s Fresh Start – The New York Times

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Members of Muna They continued to call themselves “inviolable.” They were sorry about this, they insisted that each jumped into the frame of a video call from the Los Angeles backyard, ping-pong in a joke, and relocated themselves to a different composition.

Katie Gavin, 29, Naomi McPherson, 29, and Josette Muskin, 28, indie pop trio are enthusiastic and have easy access to their emotions. By the end of the phone call to discuss their new album, on Friday, all three wept and begged loudly to stop crying. The constant promotional turmoil is “that’s why we have a chaotic atmosphere,” he said, hanging a swirl of curly hair on the screen.

The release of the album is confusing. But for MUNA, sending her third self-titled album to the world means starting over. The group played at Lollapalooza and appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s show before their debut album. “about you,” Released in 2017, then opened for Harry Styles and called the 2019 LP “Save the world.” However, the label, RCA, has plunged the band months into a pandemic because of cost-cutting essentials.

Muna was devastated. After that, I returned to work. The band begins to appear every day as someone who is a friend of her friend and a member knows what Gavin calls “Lesbian Los Angeles Support Group” rents a studio in her basement almost for free. I did. The songs I’ve worked on will be the most pop-oriented and propulsive to date. One of them is what the band has never seen before: viral hits.

“Life is so much fun, life is so much fun” Gavin Litt in “Silk Chiffon” featuring Phoebe Bridgers, running around TikTok and doing sound tracking Cookie dough tutorial, hangover When Ode to the crush.. The rest of “Muna” is full of enthusiastic songs about running around gay bars and rollerblading barrels overnight on smooth sputtering synths. Boosted by the success of “Silk Chiffon,” the band is now on the verge of breaking out of its cult support and bringing its hymn about strange joy to a larger audience. But whether it’s music or the lives of the members, the joy is not easy for Muna.

“Obviously, everything is really working,” said non-binary McPherson, with a toothpick between their teeth. “When does the devil want to punish you?”

Muna started at the University of Southern California. There, McPherson spy on Gavin, who bikes around the campus, and tweeted to his friend, “That girl is cool.” The feelings were mutual. They formed a bond and Gavin introduced McPherson to Muskin at the party. Soon they started making music and held guitar chord workshops between classes. Gavin sings lead vocals, plays the guitar and helps produce. Maskin (guitar) and McPherson (guitar and keys) are working on the production.

Almost 10 years later, part of their songwriting process is the same. Muna knows when to stop. The band likes to put in what McPherson calls “princess work.” They tinker with songs for hours every day and finish as soon as the track starts to snap into place. “You try to keep the magic,” Maskin said.

This group spends the rest of their time hanging out — watching YouTube and doing little things. Simple intimacy, the way they complete each other’s sentences, or the way they can communicate by raising their eyebrows, is central to their process. Also, it takes time and effort. Gavin and McPherson have been dating for years, and when they broke up, Muskin threatened to quit the band if they didn’t go for treatment. (The trio also went to what they call “band therapy.”)

Recording can be stressful. “If possible, record all the vocals alone in the closet,” Gavin said. It sounded like “my baby is a salad”. But Muna hyped each other and learned not to overuse music.

“At some point, you’ll get singing dysmorphism wherever you like,” I don’t know if this sounds good, everyone, “McPharson said.

“Muna” is a band shift and a step towards flashy and sparkling pop. “At RCA,” we’re going to stay true to ourselves and make interesting indie pop music. We’re not here to make hits, “McPharson said. “And the moment we leave, we’re on an indie label, like,” This is our most pop song ever. ” “

The small label Sadesto Factory Records, Operated by Bridgers, an indie rock breakout star. Her band calls her “Daddy” and she sings a dazzling poem about being stoned through the CVS corridor in her “Silk Chiffon”.

Another indie powerhouse, Mitski, also left a fingerprint on the album. She first met the band at the festival. “I’ve just started chatting, which is unusual for me, because I’m so introverted that I’m not just” starting a chat “with people,” Mitski wrote in an email. .. “It proves how friendly and kind they are.”

Mitsky came to McPherson and Muskin’s apartment in Highland Park and had a cup of tea while listening to a disco. (Neighbors downstairs kept sending them text messages to keep quiet.) “When you’re not here, you’re not thinking about you / I think about you,” Gavin said. Sing with “No Idea”. “Mitski is the sexiest songwriter I know,” she said.

Like most songs on the record, the “No Idea” toy features a gap between perception and projection, clarity and confinement that accompanies the label’s claim. “She isn’t the mirror you see,” Gavin pets the guitar slash on “Solid.” Slow, with the “Kind of Girl” benefiting from Shania Twain, she becomes clearer. “I’m a girl who’s learning everything I say. It’s not definitive,” Gavin sings.

The album vibrates between dance floor anthems and lyrics about meditation, synthesizers, and the twinkling of Twan. “Although the albums are kind of acoustically different in what the song says, connective tissue is self-definition, agency and identity, and they are questioning them.” McPherson said. “And I also know that nothing has been fixed.”

The band’s situation has changed, but Gavin hasn’t let go of his past. “I don’t want to be in this era.’Oh, it used to be one way, but now it’s another way, and now everything is great,'” she said. But that is the compassion for ourselves, the consciousness we have. “

Earlier this month, the trio returned to The Tonight Show, and Gavin felt some of the panic the band experienced when they first performed there in 2016. The band members spent a taxi to the hotel after playing on tape. They talked about the importance of doing the show, how Gavin feels, and what the album wanted to do for them. “McPharson said.

The driver eventually rang the chime. “He said,’I’ve been driving for 20 years and haven’t heard people so kind to each other,'” Gavin recalled. She and McPherson were pushed into a hotel bed and illuminated the laptop screen. Muskin was in her room in the hallway, stuffed with her bananas and peeled. “It felt like a cheesy thing-it’s a feat to do these big moments, but I think it’s like a bigger thing-” she paused. “I’m such a cheese ball.”

“Do it!” McPherson shouted.

Gavin rolled his eyes. “I think the greater feat is to have these friendships with each other.”

All three became quiet for a moment. Then they began to laugh faintly and fiercely.

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