From their iconic live performances to their unapologetic queerness, we just can’t get enough
BY NIC CROSARA, IMAGE BY SAM MULLER
I’m sure this is a band that needs no introduction to DIVA readers. MUNA’s songs feature on any sapphic or queer Spotify playlist worth its salt. And since opening for Taylor Swift on her Eras Tour this year, they’ve continued to take the world by storm. Comprised of Katie Gavin, Jo Maskin and Naomi McPherson, this all-queer band have gone from strength to strength.
2023 has been a monumental year for the trio. To celebrate, join us in recognising some of the many reasons why sapphics and queers around the world love all things MUNA.
Their decade long journey
While MUNA’s popularity has soared this year, they are definitely not new to the music scene. The trio initially came together in 2013 while still in college. They released their first single, Winterbreak, back in 2016 and their debut album About U in 2017 with their hugely popular second album, Saves The World, following in 2019. And while third albums are dreaded by many musicians, their 2022 album, MUNA, was a roaring success. In 2023, they released their single, The One That Got Away, which was the ultimate queer breakup song.
It’s clear from their refined sound, live performances and beyond that these three pop stars have a strong connection with each other. The kind that can only be nurtured after the amount of years Katie, Jo and Naomi have spent together. We can’t wait to see how the band continues to grow in the years to come.
They serve up much needed visibility
All the band members identify as queer, with Naomi being genderqueer and non-binary. They are unapologetic with how they express their queerness and it’s inspiring to witness. While Katie, Jo and Naomi are out-and-proud they have frequently addressed not being pigeon-holed as a “queer band”, in one interview stating that they are “talked about as a queer band. Queer is not a genre.”
Their songs and music videos serve up an abundance of queer joy and throughout their musical careers the band have served up much needed LGBTQIA visibility.
Last year, Katie Gavin revealed to her followers that she is neurodivergent in an Instagram post. Katie’s transparent statement was powerful, open and honest and provided representation and awareness on neurodiversity.
MUNA are on a mission
Speaking to DIVA for our July 2022 issue, the band told our publication: “We want to make music that feels purposeful in the sense that maybe it can be useful for someone, whether that’s helping them through a heartbreak or soundtracking a night out.”
Their dating history
There’s a stereotype within the queer community that we are all friends with our exes. Well, in MUNA’s case, this is certainly true. The band’s foundations are based on friendship, and that friendship blossomed into more for Katie and Naomi who began dating while working together. Their relationship lasted for roughly three years before coming to an end around the time they signed their first label deal.
Despite the breakup, their passion for music and the strong bond they shared as friends allowed the band to prevail and become the supergroup we know and love today.
The only thing better than seeing one all-queer band live is seeing two all-queer bands live
MUNA’s self-released EP garnered a lot of attention online which led to a deal with RCA records. The signing may have started their success story, however, after releasing two albums on the label the band was dropped. However, their luck changed when they signed with Saddest Factory, a label owned and run by sapphic musician Phoebe Bridgers.
And speaking of Phoebe, sapphics and queers around the world went wild this year when Phoebe’s band boygenius toured with MUNA. Clips from the live performances have been going viral on social media over the last month.
They’ve opened for some incredible musicians
MUNA garnered thousands of new fans at each stop of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, but it’s important to note that this isn’t the bands first rodeo when it comes to playing massive crowds while opening for superstars. In 2017, they toured with Bleachers, which is fronted by Jack Antonoff and since then they’ve opened for artists such as Harry Styles, The 1975, Kacey Musgraves and Lorde.
These are just some of the many reasons why we love MUNA. Their music is therapeutic to those both inside and outside of the LGBTQIA community. But for queer listeners, their lyrics speak to the many different experiences many of us navigate. What a blessing it is for us to exist at the same time as MUNA.
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