DMA’S made a huge impression with their 2016 debut album Hills End, which became a Gold-selling smash, debuting in Australia at #8 and #36 in the UK, taking them to Coachella, Lollapalooza, Glastonbury, Latitude, two Reading/Leeds Festivals, and multiple gig points inbetween. Now Sydney’s timeless guitar pop trio have successfully raised their game with their new album For Now – a gloriously uplifting album of beautifully honed, passionately emotive rock’n’roll songs.
Since its release back in April, the critical acclaim for DMA’S on For Now has been widespread, including debuting at #7 on the Australian ARIA Album Chart, #13 on the Official Album Chart in the UK and claiming triple j’s Feature Album of its entire week of release, alongside a barrage of positive reviews and a visibility online.
Recorded with producer Kim Moyes (who’s also a member of The Presets), this studio release marks the follow-up to DMA’S debut album and bedroom recording Hills End, which spawned hits like ‘Delete’, ‘Lay Down’ and ‘Step Up The Morphine’.
“It has been different [to Hills End],” reaffirms DMA’S guitarist Johnny Took. “Having Kim involved is cool. We really love working with him and he is one of a kind; he is a massive talent. Me, Tommy and Nathan, we’re best friends, but we’re also very different in lots of ways and I think he [Kim] has a really good temperament to really get the best out of all of our different personalities.
“It’s definitely not the same record, we wouldn’t want to make the same record. It’s lush and pop but in a good way, it’s really warm. We knew the songs were good,” he continues, “but Kim helped a lot with some of the beats and the synth sounds which we were doing; we were mucking around with our guitar tones a lot more and our pedals, and the sounds we were pulling from the guitars. In my mind it’s not too different.”
Two years on from their first album, Took, alongside Tommy O’Dell (vocals) and Matt Mason (guitarist and backing vocalist) have grown and matured as songwriters and musicians, receiving critical acclaim for recent singles ‘Dawning’, ‘In The Air’ and title track, ‘For Now’, as well as again receiving the Liam Gallagher tick of approval with the single release ‘Break Me’. In a band blessed with three songwriters, the creation of ‘In The Air’ remains Took’s favourite single so far; a beautiful ballad, with sweeping production, and daydream-inducing lyrics that shine a light on the band’s much-loved talent for pop writing.
“When that song was written, it was about four years ago and I wrote it on the piano in about 25 minutes, I always knew it was a really special song,” he explains. “I was already excited about the song, but when we came to record it with Kim, Nathan wrote that riff with Kim and told me he wrote the outro, and watching it evolve was really, really special. The best DMA’S songs are when we collaborate like that and we all put in our two cents; that’s when we get the best results.”
Since their beginning, the three-piece went from unknowns that had never played a live show together to having their debut EP land just outside the top 10 of the iTunes albums chart – in just a few weeks. As a band that was never intended to play live on stage, created solely as a recording project, Took is now looking forward to the tour in support of their second album, and in turn, their biggest national tour to date.
“Because we started as a studio/bedroom recording kind of band, I think there’s always going to be something special about that and the creative process that comes with that,” Took begins. “But to be honest, I’m looking forward to playing live now now because well for one, we aren’t as poor as we used to be so I don’t have to share a bed with the other guys any more – which is great. And the gigs are better,” he reveals.
“We did a couple of years of some pretty torturous touring and we played some great shows and we had some amazing experiences; playing some bucket-list festivals, but we also played some pretty weird ones. Like playing to seven people, or even four people at one gig. At that time, it was playing all those gigs that made us a really good live act.”
Raise a glass and prime your ears – not to mention your heart – for DMA’S gloriously uplifting second album, For Now, out now.
Catch their live show at The Forum in Melbourne on June 9. Tickets via dmasdmas.com
Written by Talia Rinaldo