2022 Band of the Year MUNA Went Indie and Found a World Without Limits

Our 2022 Annual Report continues with the announcement of MUNA as our Band of the Year. As the year winds down, stay tuned for more awards, lists, and articles about the best music, film, and TV of 2022. You can find it all in one place here.

Standing onstage in September 2022 before yet another sold-out crowd, Katie Gavin took a brief moment to appreciate the gorgeous view. As the lead singer of MUNA began to sing “Pink Light,” the fans at 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. simultaneously placed pink slips of paper over their phones and turned their flashlights on, illuminating the audience with constellations of fuchsia.

“It felt like a very loving thing for them to do for us,” Gavin tells Consequence by Zoom in early December. “But it also is heartwarming because it’s like they’re talking to each other and organizing with each other. I think that means a lot. That’s like a dream that you have as a band: That your fans have a sense of community with each other.”

That community was not built overnight. In fact, Gavin, along with bandmates Naomi McPherson and Josette Maskin, have spent the lion’s share of the past decade spreading the gospel of MUNA, cultivating a diverse tribe of misfits united by their love of undeniable pop hooks, proclivity for sweaty singalong dance parties, and overarching sense of acceptance.

“I think if you’re an artist of any kind, I feel like you have to have a slightly delusional belief in your own greatness to continue doing it,” McPherson says. “But at the same time, when you’ve been at it for 10 years, maybe your expectations start to normalize a little bit. So when things exceed your expectations, it can be really exciting and affirming, especially if you feel like you’ve been working hard.”

For MUNA fans — both newly converted and Day One — 2022 started with some pretty massive expectations. The band was still riding the wave kicked off by their 2021 cult smash “Silk Chiffon,” the Phoebe Bridgers-assisted bop that ushered in “life’s so fun” to the indie pop vernacular and catapulted MUNA forward in terms of visibility. While on tour supporting Kacey Musgraves, they heard arena-sized crowds singing their lyrics back at them for the first time.