’11 impressively diverse songs’; a review of DMA’s The Glow

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Ambitious

DMA's latest album proves that being experimental can produce an incredible outcome, leading the band from strength to strength.

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Sydney indie-rock trio DMA’s, composed of Tommy O’Dell, Matt Mason, and Johnny Took, have been cementing their place in the UK music scene over the past couple of years, supporting the likes of legendary performers such as Liam Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft, and many more. The band caught the attention of many, including myself, due to their fast-paced bangers and guitar-heavy tunes that are reminiscent of the widely-missed 90s brit-pop genre. Whilst performing at a bunch of UK festivals just last year, with main stage sets at Isle of Wight and TRNSMT, DMAs began to form a strong UK fan-base as they stretched out from their Australian roots.

Their latest album, The Glow (2020), gives a fresh outlook on the style of the band through its experimentation with more studio-produced elements, from 80s-inspired synths to light summery vocals. With their new style comes an incredibly refreshing album that takes the ‘brit-pop revival’ to a whole new level.

The Glow proves that sometimes bands need to risk changing their style, even if they are afraid that their pre-existing fanbase might not approve. The newest LP maintains the excitement of the brit-pop revival that the band explored in their previous albums Hills End (2016) and For Now (2018), whilst adopting a wider variety of genres and styles that bring depth to the tracklist, giving us banger after banger. The tracklist, consisting of 11 impressively diverse songs, allows the listener to travel along the journey of the band’s adapting style.

The album starts with the soft and dreamy opening track ‘Never Before’ which feels so summery you can almost picture yourself dancing to it at a music festival on a hot summer’s day. ‘Never Before’ is strong and introduces the ‘new’ style in a subtle but impactful way that shows just what the album is going to be like throughout. Third track ‘Silver’ starts to move the album even further into this new direction, immersing the listener in what is the ‘new’ DMA’s. ‘Silver’ was released as a single earlier this year and after the first listen I was instantly hooked. It was so exciting to be able to hear the anthemic, emotional song in the context of the album as it gives a sense of nostalgia which brings a personal side to the album that continues on. throughout.

‘Criminals’ stood out for me personally amongst the whole tracklist due to its unique but intoxicatingly catchy rhythmic flow and punchy lyrics. The song perfectly weaves elements of rock-inspired guitar riffs with melodic drum beats that feel as though they shouldn’t work but they do! The track is exciting and ends with an acoustic outro that calmly draws you into the next song. Although ‘Criminals’ is a stand out track for me, it was refreshing to find that DMA’s had experimented with a completely different style for the later track ‘Learning Alive’. The track, which falls after groove-pop song ‘Strangers’, brings an unexpected twist to the album through the use of piano and impactful, personal lyrics. Final track ‘Cobracaine’ feels like a perfect ending place for the album, opening the band up to an even greater potential for what they produce next!

DMA’s third studio album The Glow perfectly blends the brit-pop style of the 90s with dreamy synths of the 80s through a modern perspective. The impelling album is a 5-star hit that releases the style DMA’s have always wanted to express, fulfilling the band’s potential. With it’s melodic, powerful tracks – The Glow is perfect for the summer months!

The Glow is available to purchase on 10th July via I OH YOU. Listen to ‘Silver’ now down below:

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third-year film student & records/live exec 20/21

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