muna self-titled album

MUNA are entering a new era of radical vulnerability

June is upon us, which means it’s time for the next issue of Alternative Press. We’re thrilled to present our new issue (#407) with cover stars MUNA. Check out a preview of the story below.

Within the pages of our June issue, a number of talented creatives appear alongside MUNA. That list includes Soccer Mommy, Joyce Manor, Bartees Strange, Leah Kate, Koyo, FKJ, Anxious and plenty more. Grab your copy now.

MUNA cover story

With their self-titled third album imminent — their first since signing to Phoebe BridgersSaddest Factory Records — it’s a new era for MUNA. In fact, the trio are proving that they can have the time of their life while embracing tenderness and vulnerability. It’s about the balance. All the while, they’re making others feel less alone by owning their identities, which has resonated with thousands of listeners.

“We can count cis gay men as part of the fanbase that listens to our music. If they can vibe, everybody can vibe,” Josette Maskin jokes.

Their ability to be so raw is credited to being in an environment where they feel safe to do so. Having known each other since their college days, MUNA have forged a close-knit connection that comes with growing up together. They’re as much a band as they are family.

“When people are able to meet the needs you have and hold space for your emotions and the type of person you are, that’s just the most life-affirming, humanity-affirming experience you have, and I have that a lot in this band. I feel super lucky,” Naomi McPherson says.

Read an excerpt from the cover story, written by Marianne Eloise, below.

MUNA are entering a new era of radical vulnerability.

We know, we know — it hardly seems possible that the three-piece responsible for the track “Crying On The Bathroom Floor” could get even softer. But on their self-titled album, MUNA, they’re learning to open up in a whole new way, embracing love, fun and all of the mess that comes with it. “This whole era is about trying to have fun; that’s our vibe,” guitarist Naomi McPherson says. On the album’s second track, pop hit “What I Want,” they sing “I want the fireworks/I want the chemistry/I want that girl right over/There to wanna date me.” It’s something of a departure from the sad pop they’re known for, but that raw desire makes it even more tender. 

MUNA, formed of Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin and McPherson, met while they were at college at USC. Maskin and Gavin were in a freshman pop class (it’s fair to say they’ve passed with flying colors by now), while Gavin and McPherson met separately. “Katie introduced me to Naomi, and I found out Naomi played guitar and was cool. We just decided one day to jam, and the rest is history,” Maskin says. The three of them became friends and started a college band.

Read more: MUNA dream of a lost future in “Home By Now”

The trio bonded in part over a realization that they are all queer — now, MUNA have amassed a huge fanbase of other LGBTQ+ people who see themselves reflected in their music and lives. Forming in 2014, the band decided to be out “from the jump.” “At the time, it was a different choice, and I’ll be honest, I spearheaded it a bit. I felt strongly about it,” Gavin says. “I felt like we were cool, and I wanted to be representative. I thought: We are queer, and we’re making great music!” 

You can read the full cover story in issue #407, available here or above.

Also in Issue #407:

  • Soccer Mommy: By confronting perfectionism and rejecting industry personas, Soccer Mommy has created her most vulnerable, daring record yet. With the help of producer Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never), she’s also embracing an unpredictable sound. Written by Matt Mitchell
  • Bartees Strange: With his second album, Farm To Table, Bartees Strange is claiming a seat at the table while celebrating the people who’ve helped him along the way. All the while, he’s staying hungry and humble — and eager for what’s next. Written by Neville Hardman
  • Joyce Manor: Joyce Manor have mastered the art of high-energy anthems that pack a punch, rarely penning tracks that exceed three minutes. Sixth album 40 oz. To Fresno is a collision of eras, with parts of the album years in the making. Written by Aliya Chaudhry
  • Alexisonfire: On their first record in 13 years, Otherness, Alexisonfire are reemerging gloriously. The Ontario quintet have never been closer, with the group entering their most collaborative and harmonious state yet. Written by Alessandro DeCaro
  • Motionless In White: On sixth album Scoring The End Of The World, Motionless In White have created their most personal and political offering to date. Undoubtedly, collaborations with Knocked Loose’s Bryan Garris, Beartooth’s Caleb Shomo and video game composing legend Mick Gordon take it to the beyond. Written by Dannii Leivers