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Saves The World

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What other band could have stamped the forsaken year of 2021 with spangles and pom-poms, could have made you sing (and maybe even believe) that “Life’s so fun, life’s so fun,” during what may well have been the most uneasy stretch of your life?

The band's period of uncertainty and open questioning burned everything away, leaving a feat of an album - the forceful, deliberate, dimensional output of a band who has nothing to prove to anyone except themselves. Muna, the band’s self-titled third album, is a landmark — the forceful, deliberate, dimensional output of a band who has nothing to prove to anyone except themselves.The trio sit atop a rising spring of pure self-acceptance; powerful yet vulnerable and immeasurably relatable. What ultimately keeps us together," Maskin said, "is knowing that someone's going to hear each one of these songs and use it to make a change they need in their life. Having switched camps from a major label to Phoebe Bridgers' Saddest Factory and with a new self-titled LP in tow, MUNA are releasing their most confident outpouring to date. Saves the World was therapy on a record, and I was starting to see changes in my life, more moments of joy. There is a bit of surface noise throughout the record, but it does not distract from the music at all.

It’s marked by a newfound creative assurance and technical ability, both in terms of McPherson and Maskin’s arrangements and production as well as Gavin’s songwriting, which is as propulsive as ever, but here opens up into new moments of perspective and grace. Muna is working the source code of pop that pulls at your heartstrings; the album is full of longing and revelation and hard-won freedom. But sometimes, for Muna, after nearly a decade of friendship and a long stretch of pandemic-induced self-reckoning, the most radical note possible is that of bliss. It’s no longer about the pain and suffering others have inflicted, but about overcoming the negativity within. Silk Chiffon," MUNA's instant-classic cult smash, featuring the band's new label head Phoebe Bridgers, hit the grey skies of the pandemic's year-and-a-half mark like a double rainbow.

If About U was the tender love child of the Cocteau Twins and Depeche Mode; Saves the World is an unpredictable teenager getting into '90s rom-com soundtracks and self-help podcasts. Saves The World’ carries the same weight as its predecessor, but breaks the dark-pop boundaries the band themselves created with their debut. What other band could have stamped the forsaken year of 2021 with spangles and pom-poms - made you sing (and maybe even believe) that "Life's so fun, life's so fun," during what may well have been the most uneasy stretch of your life?

The synth on “What I Want” scintillates like a Robyn dance-floor anthem; “Anything But Me,” galloping in 12/8, gives off Shania Twain in eighties neon; “Kind of Girl,” with its soaring, plaintive The Chicks chorus, begs to be sung at max volume with your best friends. So, unless you’re smart enough to get the release at the start, directly from the artist, you’re pretty much screwed when you don’t follow the artist and purchase directly from them for special product like these amazing vinyl releases. And that's what Muna does, in the end: it carves out a space in the middle of whatever existential muck you're doing the everyday dog-paddle through and transports you, suddenly - you who've come to music looking for an answer you can't find anywhere else - into a room where everything is possible, where the disco ball's never stopped throwing sparkles on the walls, where you can sweat and cry and lie down on the floor and make out with whoever, where vulnerability in the presence of those who love you can make you feel momentarily bulletproof and self-consciousness only sharpens the swell of joy. I hate having to leave such a negative review for one of my favorite pop albums, but I want to be transparent.

That people are going to feel a kind of catharsis, even if it's a catharsis that I might never have known myself, because I'm f***ed up. Every record is shipped in original factory-applied shrink wrap and has never been touched by human hands. We are three of the most depressed people you could ever come into contact with, depending on the day," McPherson said, with a smile. For Naomi McPherson, Muna's guitarist and producer, it was a "song for kids to have their first gay kiss to. Each vinyl arrived significantly warped, streaked with dark brown smudges, and skipped throughout most of Side 2.

The trio, made up of Katie Gavin (lead vocals/production), Naomi McPherson (production/guitar/synths/vocals), and Josette Maskin (lead guitar/vocals).They'd been dropped by RCA, and there was little in terms of income, no adrenaline to work off of, no live shows with audiences reminding them of the succor their songs provide. Where debut ‘About U’ fostered their dark-pop label, MUNA have expanded their horizons on follow-up ‘Saves The World’.

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