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By: Crystal Ge

The members of Muna call themselves “impenetrable.”

The indie-pop trio of Katie Gavin, 29, Naomi McPherson, 29,

and Josette Maskin, 28, operate on a frenetic frequency and

have easy access to their emotions. Any album release brings

some chaos. But for Muna, sending its third self-album album

into the world means starting all over again.

by the success of “Silk Chiffon,” the band is now on the verge

of breaking out of its cult following and bringing its anthems

about queer joy to a wider audience. “Obviously, everything is

going really well,” McPherson, who is nonbinary, said,

prodding a toothpick between their teeth. Muna got their

start at the University of Southern California, where

McPherson spied Gavin biking through campus and murmured

to their friend, “That girl is cool.” The feeling was mutual; they

bonded, and Gavin introduced McPherson to Maskin at a

party. Almost immediately, they started making music,

workshopping guitar chords between classes.

Gavin sings lead vocals, plays guitar, and helps produce;

Maskin also plays guitar, and McPherson, who is on guitar and

keys, both work on the production.

Recording can be stressful. “I would record all my vocals alone

in a closet, if I could,” Gavin said after the band relayed that it

had to redo the song “Solid” five or six times because she kept

cooing the lyric. The album oscillates between dance-floor

anthems and lyrics about meditation, coruscating synths and

twinges of twang.

Earlier this month, the trio returned to “The Tonight Show,”

and Gavin felt some of the panic she had experienced when

the band first played there in 2016. She and McPherson were

wedged onto a bed in their hotel, beaming at a laptop screen;

Maskin was in her room down the hall, packing and peeling a


“It just felt like the cheesy thing where — it’s a feat to do

these big moments, but I do think that, like, the bigger thing

—.” She paused. “I’m such a cheese ball.”

McPherson shouted. Gavin rolled her eyes. Then they started

giggling, faintly and then furiously.

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