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First Take: Muncie Girls – ‘Balloon’

By now, you’ll have heard enough of Muncie Girls’ debut album to start counting down the days to its release (as of today, we make it 44). From the clenched fist stomp of ‘Gone With The Wind’ to the fuzzy defiance of ‘Gas Mark 4’, the band are gathering expectation and excitement like a runaway snowball hurtling down a very snowy mountainside. Or something.

The band are attracting expectant eyes and ears with nothing more than their music and for very good reason. It’s incredible. With ‘Balloon’, the third track to be released proper from ‘From Caplan To Belsize’, Muncie Girls take all that charming buoyancy and float away with it.

More deliberate and arching than anything the band has put their name to yet, ‘Balloon’ sees Muncie Girls expand on their punk thrash. Instead of looking out at the world around them and wanting change, this time around the group are more insular and hopeful.

Maybe it’ll happen sometime. Maybe it’ll soon,” offers vocalist Lande Hekt, “All the sun will take away the grey and you’ll float away, like a little red balloon,” she continues, reassuring the audience at the same time as herself.

More poetry than social commentary, the track moves Muncie Girls outside their comfort zone and towards grander horizons. And they relish this new space. However, it’s not all change as their hard-fought voice and whispered hopes of making a difference are proudly embedded into every swelling melody and stylish refrain.

Comfortable enough to toy with texture, ‘Balloons’ never stops dancing on the breeze. Unpredictable, surprising but oh-so natural, it would be all too easy to let the track get away from them but under Muncie Girls’ determined grip, its want for freedom is channeled into something beautiful. You can keep 98 red balloons ‘cos we only want this one.