None of the five tracks on DMA’s debut EP pays direct homage to one artist in particular, but the Sydney trio don’t hide the fact they’re affectionate listeners.
The sheets of distorted guitar in opener ‘Feels Like 37’ recall early ’90s space rock and shoegaze. Meanwhile, Tommy O’Dell’s vocals sit bang in between Madchester and Britpop. His voice is more pleasant than Liam Gallagher’s but he borrows from Ian Brown and John Lennon in a very similar manner. ‘Your Low’ offers a dose of woozy ’60s pop, featuring Kinks-like chord changes and tasty melodies reminiscent of ’80s indie. ‘Play It Out’ provides some hazy, scenic psych; another avenue DMA’s are very comfortable exploring. Lead single ‘Delete’ is a heart-on-your-sleeve acoustic number (DMA’s equivalent to ‘Champagne Supernova’ or ‘Tender’, if you will). The production applies an intimate intensity that greatly suits the imploring vocals, even if the lyrics are fairly inert. That is, except for the hook line: “Don’t delete my baby / Don’t defeat her still,” which implicates volatile online relationships and cherished jpegs.
The EP’s focal melodic aplomb, homespun production grit and well-measured array of guitar sounds warrant plenty of curiosity. However, that unique quality – the element of risk – is lacking at this stage.
DMA’s is out now on I Oh You records.