Label: Saddest Factory
Released: 24th June 2022
For most bands, leaving a major label can spark a point of minor panic. Hopes and dreams sold on the back of the big machine cut short; it’s enough to make some call it a day entirely. But MUNA aren’t most bands. Their self-titled third album is also, definitively, their best – a bold claim when their previous efforts are of a gold standard.
Finding a home on Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory label, it’s the sound of a band coming back stronger than ever before, more assured in their own musical skin. Embracing their innate talent for a gigantic pop hook, each track hits harder than the next. Opener’ Silk Chiffon’ may already have secured its status as an all-timer, but ‘What I Want’ and ‘Runner’s High’ both match it, the latter shimmering brightly and hammering hard. Singles’ Home By Now’ and country-bop ‘Kind Of Girl’ are triple-A grade perfection, while the opening track of ‘Anything But Me’ is already iconic. Add to that the 80s vamp of ‘Solid’ and closing slow-burning torch song ‘Shooting Star’, and it proves a collection both sonically varied and consistently amazing.
But MUNA’s power isn’t just in the music; it’s also in the band themselves. A trio that seem tightly bound to each other, that feeling of mutual trust and self-belief radiates outwards. A record that doesn’t just thrill, but empowers too, it’s enough to put MUNA firmly amongst the highest echelon of modern pop bands. Quite possibly the album of the year so far.