Today’s Song: Charlie Hickey and MUNA Join Forces with “Seeing Things”

Charlie Hickey x MUNA © Jannick Frampton
Charlie Hickey x MUNA © Jannick Frampton
Courtesy of Saddest Factory Records, MUNA and Charlie Hickey take a folk ballad and make their own mark with “Seeing Things.”
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Stream: “Seeing Things (MUNA’s Version)” – Charlie Hickey, MUNA




There is a new force to be reckoned with in the world of music, with singer-songwriter extraordinaire Phoebe Bridgers’ new label, Saddest Factory Records. As Bridgers told Rolling Stone, “The vision of the label is simple: good songs, regardless of genre.”

Seeing Things (MUNA’s Version) - Charlie Hickey, MUNA
Seeing Things (MUNA’s Version) – Charlie Hickey, MUNA

She wasn’t kidding. A cross-collaboration between artists of the label has come to fruition with “Seeing Things (MUNA’s Version),” the work of Pasadena born-and-raised singer-songwriter Charlie Hickey and queer pop/electronic band, MUNA. MUNA has brought their magic touch to Hickey’s “Seeing Things”, a track off his debut EP, Count the Stairs. Taking an Elliott Smith-esque track and adding boots and cats, the pairing gives us an unprecedented product. What’s even weirder is that it works.

Took an inventory of my fears and resentments
Everything I ever loved
Everything that made me nervous
At the very least, it led me to you
I hope it happened for a reason
I hope I play it backwards and there’s a hidden meaning
But I can’t tell if you’re really here
Yesterday, I said your name three times in the mirror
And nothing happened
I wish you’d fuck with my head
Sneak up right behind me
Scare me to death
But nothing happens

“Seeing Things” comes from Charlie Hickey’s debut EP, Count the Stairs. The original track has a haunting lull that is interspersed with sweet strings. It’s right up MUNA’s alley. The queer girl band masters therapy through electro-pop, providing emotional turmoil in a sparkly package. The magic is in the juxtaposition, whether it be the ghost of the original track that proves as a comparison point, the pop-packed punch versus the somber lyricism, or the difference in the voices at play.




I don’t wanna take your kindness and weaponize it
I don’t wanna point it at myself
Turn it into something violent
It’s just that when you’re rational, I think that you hate me
Nightmares in reverse
I don’t run and you don’t chase me
I can’t tell if you’re really here
Yesterday, I said your name three times in the mirror
And nothing happened
I wish you’d fuck with my head
Sneak up right behind me
Scare me to death
But nothing happens

The vocal pairing is captivating: Hickey’s magic lies in his sopranic sensitivity, while Katie Gavin’s full-bodied alto exists in its own realm. Though the octave differences ring true, both singers can make you feel their pain. I’m not sure what it is. It could be the little trills that vibrate in Hickey’s high melodic centerpieces, or the deadpan accuracy with which he approaches his lower register. The other side of the same coin, Gavin’s intensity is a force to be reckoned with. She sings with a straight-faced force and the magnitude of her voice spreads far and wide. And of course, Naomi McPherson’s skillful production provides the perfect playground.

Here the sage advice of those who came before us rings true: Wait for the bridge. A beautiful explosion occurs over a two word claim. Gavin provides a narrow harmony, elevating Hickey’s already captivating tone. Hickey repeats “It’s not” into the void, as MUNA drops us off at the scene of the wreckage.

I bet we’re in a room and I’m checking my blindspots
I bet I think something is wrong and it’s not
It’s not, it’s not…

Most collaborations hinge on the artists’ similarities, but that’s why “Seeing Things (MUNA’s Version)” is special: Charlie Hickey and MUNA meet each other where they’re at, bringing their tricks and treasures to the table. Characteristic of both the artists and the newly formed record label, the project promises more excitement to come.

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“Seeing Things (MUNA’s Version)” – Charlie Hickey, MUNA



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Seeing Things (MUNA’s Version) - Charlie Hickey, MUNA

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📸 © Jannick Frampton


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