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DMA's - How Many Dreams? (Album Review)

Tuesday, 18 April 2023 Written by Graeme Marsh

Photo: Reuben Bastienne-Lewis

In recent years, DMA’s have become one of Australia’s best exports, with their strand of indie-rock winning them sufficient acclaim to warrant touring slots alongside both Gallagher brothers and Arctic Monkeys. They’ve also achieved relatively high billing at Reading and Leeds on their way to becoming an arena draw in their own right.

This, however, was before they set down their guitars and returned to their roots in electronic music.On their fourth LP ‘How Many Dreams?’ those guitars are still present, but they’re less visible. By the end of the album, they’re hardly noticeable at all. 

By releasing a handful of extremely catchy, glossy singles, the group gave some idea of their plans. Olympia is perhaps the most captivating of the bunch, but Something We Are Overcoming is an example of synth-heavy style over substance. 

The intriguingly titled Everybody’s Saying Thursday is the Weekend is a dreamy pop song reminiscent of the 1975 or Kodaline, and the similarities to both bands go further than that. All three started out in indie-rock territory and have over time opted to walk the ever-so-fine line between a poppy rock band and a boy band.

Elsewhere, the title track is a glitzy effort partly undone by overt use of repetition—something that also hampers Get Ravey, which takes off a little too late—and there are similarities to The Boxer Rebellion as Tommy O’Dell’s vocals recall Nathan Nicholson on the soaring I Don’t Need to Hide.  

It isn’t until closer De Carle that they really hit their stride after dabbling into dancey electronica, though. This is music suitable for a rave, not reliant on sickly sweet lyrics (or lyrics at all if we’re honest) and going full throttle in a dance-infused stance. It’s terrific.

Crafted from 70-odd demos, ‘How Many Dreams?’ feels very much like a transitional record. Hanging on to a core of clingy lovelorn songs isn’t doing the band many favours, though. It’s time to ramp up the electronic element further, particularly as that’s where their passion presumably lies. They’ve now proven that when they get this right, it far exceeds both their indie efforts and also steers them away from potential irrelevance in a saturated and limited pop market.

DMA's Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed April 19 2023 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Thu April 20 2023 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo
Fri April 21 2023 - LONDON OVO Arena Wembley
Tue May 23 2023 - DUBLIN 3Olympia Theatre
Wed May 24 2023 - BELFAST Telegraph Building
Fri May 26 2023 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Times Square
Mon May 29 2023 - SOUTHAMPTON Brook
Tue May 30 2023 - MARLBOROUGH Town Hall
Wed May 31 2023 - OXFORD O2 Academy2 Oxford
Fri June 02 2023 - BIRMINGHAM Rough Trade
Sat June 03 2023 - HULL Welly
Sun June 04 2023 - YORK Crescent
Sun June 11 2023 - EDINBURGH Caves
Tue June 13 2023 - MIDDLESBROUGH Empire
Wed June 14 2023 - MANCHESTER Gorilla

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