DMA’s are a three-piece Sydney band composed of Johnny Took, Tommy O’Dell & Matt Mason, who certainly dress to blend into suburban Australian culture. What confuses fans is that their style juxtaposes the genre box they are labelled in – Britpop (also alternative rock). When you hear the term ‘British pop music’, you tend to think of English bands like Oasis, Radiohead and Blur, which is exactly why you shouldn’t judge a book (or album for this matter) by its cover. Much to the same point, the album as a whole is strengthened by repeated listens. As in don’t dismiss the trio’s chilled out songs for something lacking variety; the song’s message and vibe bloom over a few spins, shuffles, streams or however you choose to engage with their music.
Gaining the ‘slow burner’ tag for an album comes with two things:
a) respect among muso’s that your sound is refined enough not to garner the ‘flash in the pan’ label, and
b) a greater appreciation gained from a listener who previously perceived your work as nothing special.
The title track ‘For Now’ sets the tone for the record with lyrics immediately stating “All I need to know, (is) she’s dead to me”. Its upbeat harsh rocky tempo is met with droning sombre lyricism creating unease, hinting at the emotions portrayed by the singer vocals. Interestingly enough, all three members are originally songwriters, meaning the female character who they “don’t (want to) come running around my door” is still a mystery. Such is the nature of this industry and the hidden intrigue of DMA’s storytelling.
In stark comparison, the lady known as ‘Emily Whyte’ is revered by DMA’s. This song coasts along, evoking a very easy-going environment in which they state “more than you say, is more than I’ll need from you today”. The line suggests deep interest in her company while the music portrays being swept up in the feeling of early infatuation. On ‘Lazy Love’, these themes continue with the bigger picture being painted in sections across the various tracks mentioned above. “My lazy love keeps sailing through your veins” epitomizes how good this newly formed bond is, setting up for one of the more genuinely happy songs on the record.
Heartbreak, infatuation and love aren’t the only subjects kicking around on their sophomore record with the abundance of money, the loss of friendship and dreaming also featuring heavily. With success usually income, with DMA’s mentioning they have enough “for the next life” on ‘Time Money’. Yet the twist they divulge is they can only use it now. Living ‘for now’ (pun intended) is a wonderful affirmation which resonates throughout the songs entirety. Furthermore, with success usually results in losing ‘friends’; DMA’s tell of how they “come and go, just like the breeze” on ‘The End’. “No one should feel my ire” is the climactic realisation that anger is being withheld in order to move forward/ keep the peace. For ‘dreaming’, also check out the stand out track, ‘Tape Deck’.
‘For Now’, DMA’s second album officially drops on April 27th, which for some fans may be too long to wait; so ‘for now’ (once again, pun intended), fans can sink their teeth into a new live acoustic version of the single ‘In The Air’
Or alternatively, fans can attend one of their album listening parties in either Chippendale on the 18th (NSW) or Fitzroy on the 19th (VIC) for free.
DMA’s release date also faces some tough competition as USA’s Post Malone also delivers his sophomore record ‘Beerbongs & Bentleys’, as well as Melbourne’s own songwriter/producer Lanks, with his aptly titled debut ‘Twentyseven’. This collision of artisitc output is comparable (yet on a lesser scale) to the event in which hip-hop heavyweights butted heads on a date, resulting in Kanye West, J. Cole and Mac Miller all unveiled big projects on the same date (June 18, 2013).