"Uplifting Anthemic Melodies with Moodier Lyrics,": DMA's Chat 'The Glow'
The long awaited third album from our favourite Aussie indie outfit, DMA’s, does not disappoint.
Rife with the Britpop inspired textural layers of beat and guitar, that became the catalyst for their rise to fame, as well as some surprises, with The Glow, they have kept their pre existing fans happy, while simultaneously keeping them on their toes.
In a world still in relative crisis, I caught up with frontman Tommy O’Dell over the world’s new favourite way to interview - Zoom - to chat the new album, the world in lockdown, and his favourite audiences to date.
A range of influences have always been evident in the tunes that DMA's churn out, but this album has given them a chance to draw on ideas they may not have explored previously. “I guess the record sounds a bit different to our other records and we’ve definitely take on a few more electronic ideas and some dance-y stuff. But I guess we’ve always been influenced by that kind of music, it just so happens that we wanted to write rock and roll music when we first came on the scene. Now we are at the stage where we can join up different styles.”
These experiments are ones that have most certainly paid off, most significantly in album precursor, Life Is a Game of Changing. Combining the “dance-y stuff” they’d been hesitant to tackle before, with a lyricism and beat we have grown to love with the DMA’s brand, the trio have created a building and euphoric banger. This is a tune that would be equally at home at a rave or an indie festival, a task few have done well.
DMA’s fit so seamlessly into the UK music scene, many at first were surprised to find out they were from elsewhere, and O’Dell is the first to clock on to this, “We definitely have a British vibe going on. We supported the Courteeners when we first came to England so that was a great entry point into the UK music and rock and roll scene so we were lucky enough to play with those guys like four years ago. I think that helped gain a lot of fans from that kind of musical background”
And don’t you worry - Tommy O’Dell is as eager to get in front of a British crowd as we are to have them here; “The North of England has always been great for us, even Glasgow in Scotland, there’s such a good energy up there. So I’m looking forward to getting back to the UK."
"The last gig we did was Brixton, and we are lucky enough to have footage of that and to be able to look back on that and have that as a kind of fond memory is great. I guess being in the same room as a bunch of people and feeling the atmosphere and performing.
I’m also looking forward to touring Australia again too because its been ages since we’ve played in our home town.”
There is no doubt that the reception to this latest release will be triumphant in to audiences absolutely foaming at the mouth in anticipation of being in a room with live musicians again. In this record, as with their others, DMA’s have a clear and specific recipe in creating tunes that sound as excellent live as they do in your own bedroom. Round & Around is just one of these. From the first listen it is practically begging to be played to a crowd of people, balancing the soft and the rousing with a timed excellence, you can practically envision a crowd bouncing up and down and singing along from the offset. O’Dell’s visions of future live sets include another banger from the album.
“There’s an opening track of the album I’m pretty keen to play live! It’s got a really cool groove and it sets the tone for the record. I think fans will enjoy it and it could be a cool opening way to start the live gigs too, its called Never Before.”
This opener is ideal in every sense, with the aforementioned “cool groove” easing you into the album - and soon enough show, in a transitional way which acts as a bridge from their last album to this one.
“We like to have uplifting anthemic melodies contrasting with moodier lyrics, I think this offers a kind of cool backdrop to draw from. It’s definitely intentional but there are some songs that kind of just come out of nowhere and you don’t really know how or why. We do like to play around with that kind of contrast of happy and sad."
"It plays on emotion and shows honesty, lyrics that show your true self allow you to connect with an audience much easier”
In this statement the unlikely Aussie trio have found the key to their success. The timeless combo of good old rousing guitar and heartfelt lyrics hasn’t steered them wrong so far, and the newer, electronic elements they have incorporated in this record have only gone to show their growth in expertise as artists.
As the world starts to shift towards normality once more, they were the first to make sure they had the dates booked in, and are set to play a staggering nine intimate shows in Sydney’s Factory Theatre at the end go this month.
The Glow is an experiment gone so right, perfectly bridging what we know and love from this band with newer influences that blend seamlessly into a brand they have already curated.