MUNA is magic. 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? “Silk Chiffon,” MUNA’s instant-classic cult smash, featuring the band’s new label head Phoebe Bridgers, hit the gray skies of the pandemic’s year-and-a-half mark like a double rainbow. Pitchfork called it a “swirl of stomach butterflies,” NPR a “queerworm,” Rolling Stone “one of the year’s sweetest melodies, radiating the kind of pure pop bliss so many bands go for but almost never get this right.” For Naomi McPherson, MUNA’s guitarist and producer, it was a “song for kids to have their first gay kiss to.” And several thousand unhinged Twitter and TikTok memes bloomed.
MUNA 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.
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First Avenue Presents