If the Pop world is clear on just one thing right now, it’s that nostalgia is 100% in. Old Pop hits have been recycled and re-worked into bouncy house tracks, Rick Astley has just flown into Number 1 in the UK album chart and a massive 80’s revival is underway in which contemporary artists attempt to mimic the magic and production of ’80’s hits. Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, HAIM and The 1975 are just some of the artists to take the world by storm with catchy hooks which belong on the soundtracks of John Hughes movies. MUNA are the latest addition to this list.
A female trio based in LA, MUNA is comprised of Katie Gavin (lead vocals/production), Naomi McPherson (production/rhythm guitar/synths/vocals), and Josette Maskin (lead guitar/vocals). Their sound is that of dark Pop, echoing the likes of Fleetwood Mac and HAIM whilst maintaining a contemporary Pop sound through slick, electronic production. The band are the epitome of self-sufficiency, writing, producing and performing their own material which has so far been recorded in bedrooms.
‘The Loudspeaker EP’ is triumphant from start to finish, utilising catchy hooks, robust vocals, funky bass lines, gated percussion and reverberating guitar riffs to mimic the classic ’80’s sound. Opening track ‘Loudspeaker‘ launches the EP spectacularly with a buoyant energy. Lyrically, it explores darker themes of rape and oppression but in a fashion which empowers those affected. It’s a bold and brilliant track with a bass line which strays dangerously close to The 1975’s ‘Heart Out’ but it’s one which deserves far greater recognition.
The rest of the EP follows suit with elements of Stevie Nicks, Prince, Cyndi Lauper and INXS scattered throughout. ‘So Special‘ chronicles the narrator’s flaws and behaviour whilst ‘Winterbreak‘ conveys an icy quality which reflects its lyrical content and title.
Grand finale ‘Promise‘ is arguably the band’s second best track on which the narrator laments how her acts of passion have in fact pushed her lover aside as opposed to being perceived as acts of love. Its tinny guitar riffs reverberate infinitely into the spacey production whilst the hook brilliantly channels Tears for Fears in their heyday.
It’s a delicious yet intoxicating debut which leaves the listener eagerly anticipating future records.
A fearless introduction into the pop world.
Highlights: ‘Loudspeaker’, ‘Promise’.