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MUNYA Announces Debut Album, Shares New Single & Video


With a background in opera and jazz, MUNYA has always had two big dreams: to be a musician, go to Mars.

MUNYA Announces Debut Album, Shares New Single & Video

Québécois artist MUNYA - a.k.a producer, singer, songwriter and performer Josie Boivin - will release her debut album, Voyage to Mars, on November 5th via Luminelle Recordings. Following her masterful EP trilogy that was released in its entirety in 2019, MUNYA started work on her debut album. With a background in opera and jazz, MUNYA has always had two big dreams: to be a musician, go to Mars.

"I love space. I love aliens. I love thinking that we're not alone in this big strange universe," she says. "Those things give me hope." That hope led to Voyage To Mars, named for Georges Méliès' classic silent film Le Voyage dans la Lune. Filled with songs that feel beamed in from another world and suffused with an otherworldly light, this record was written, produced and recorded by Boivin, who is also responsible for all of her stunning hand drawn artwork below.

To celebrate the announcement of Voyage To Mars, MUNYA shares lead single "Cocoa Beach" today. The lilting song with palm-muted guitars and a driving funk beat is named for the town fifteen miles from the John F. Kennedy Space Center, and Boivin explains, "Cocoa Beach is a song about being fearless, about finding your inner force and embracing failure as your path to happiness.

It's about pushing yourself over your limits and accomplishing the impossible through sheer force of will. It takes courage, dedication and many failures to reach your dreams...and that is the origin story of MUNYA." The new music video for "Cocoa Beach" is a direct followup to her last French single "Pour Toi," a song that found her speaking to someone far away. Find out who was on the other end of the telephone line in the new video now.

Born the youngest of nine children in a small Quebec town, Boivin's path to music was a wandering one. After a high school teacher discovered she could sing opera, Boivin spent years in the opera world, before switching to jazz in college. It wasn't until moving to Montreal that she began to hone her unique musical vision. After releasing a trilogy of EPs on Luminelle Records in 2018, Voyage to Mars marks MUNYA's official full-length debut.

"Yes, there is music or art that has a special power to take you somewhere else," she says. "A certain emotion they give you. Sometimes you can't put a finger on it, but you know it's there, and it affects you. That's what I wanted to do."

Voyage to Mars was entirely recorded in Boivin's apartment during the pandemic. The longing to be elsewhere is palpable throughout the album, each one a shimmering rocket sent skyward. It's not a heavy or melancholy record, but an expansive one, music that finds the wonder and vastness of outer space in the midst of the struggles of everyday life. "I always have the same process," says Boivin. "I have my little toys, my keyboard, and my guitar. My songs are always written by myself in my bubble with my little things." But for the songs to find their truest potential, Boivin reached out to her friends scattered across the continent, sending songs back and forth until they were finished. "I missed being in a room with other people, but it wasn't an option, so I changed my mindset. There was a pandemic and I wanted to make a record, so that's what we did."

Boivin reached out to several friends, including Kainalu, P.O. Rioux, and Gabriel Lambert, for guitar, bass, and synth tracks, as well as Mike Thies for additional drums. The resulting album is very much Boivin's own. Lush synthesizers lend depth to the minimalist guitar, bass, and drums setup, adding a breezy quality that is both danceable and thoughtful at the same time. The lightness belies a sincerity to the lyrics, Boivin's vocals heartfelt without ever seeming heavy or weighted down by the world.

"I believe in humanity," says Boivin. "I have this lightning inside of me when I think of what we can do together. We can do it with going to space, with medicine, with the vaccine, with all the new technologies. We don't just have to go to space, we can save this planet too. We can accomplish our dreams, if only we try hard enough and never stop."

It's this sense of hope that animates MUNYA's music. It isn't cheap or sentimental, but a hard-earned belief in the goodness of people, despite all things. In a world that seems darker by the day, a fierce optimism is the most powerful thing one can possess. As Boivin sings on album standout "Life Is A Dream, "A dream is a safe place to land. Are you afraid? You can hold my hand."

Photo Credit: Josh Aldecoa

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