MUNA is a dark pop girl band from LA who have no qualms about being stubborn as hell. Lead vocalist Katie Gavin splits the difference between Katy Perry and Caroline Polachek, which yes, is just about the biggest compliment I am capable of giving. On “Promise,” her voice hits that warble-chirp that makes Polachek so mesmerizing before drawing the breathiness back in for a big pop hook. “Even if you said you would forgive me / I don’t know if I could ever say I’m sorry,” Gavin sings, as frustrated with her own pride as she is with the person who is pissing her off. MUNA makes defiant pop streaked with R&B and funk rhythms, but the anger is what really makes this song vulnerable. It’s as open and honest as a Robyn song — “I’m scared, so I told you to fuck off.” The trio includes Gavin on vocals and production, Josette Maskin on lead guitar, and Naomi McPherson on rhythm guitar and production. Here’s what they told Fader:
We see “Promise” lyrically as a track about misconstruing expressions of passion as authentic expressions of love. More personally, Katie struggles with her own temper in relationships, and wrote this song during a moment of helplessness; questioning whether or not she could truly control her own behavior.
Play “Promise” a few times and you’ll be itching to hear more; so when that urge inevitably hits, check out “So Special” and “The Grave.”