Sydney boys Johnny, Tommy and Matt Mason look for all the world like they wouldn’t be out of place in This Is England and seem nothing like the archetypal image of Australian surfers basking in the eternal sunshine. Their music on the other hand betrays their rough exterior image. This LP is sweet and beautiful. The band are clearly brit-pop influenced but rather than a harsh rip-off act this album actually uses its inspiration in quite surprising ways. ‘For Now’ was created for today, for the band and for us, it manages to avoid being a soulless nostalgic hark back to the 90’s in a vacuous effort to seem steeped in a historical scene. The album addresses both timeless and current issues with songs about heartbreak and losing love as well as struggling with ‘something overcast inside’ in what has to be one of the most delicate and melancholy songs about mental health we’ve heard in a long time.
It’s been two years since the release of the band’s debut album ‘Hill’s End’ and the time has clearly been well used. DMA’s have toured and built up a loyal following in many places and are about to embark on an Australian and European tour with plenty of festival dates along the way. ‘For Now’ was produced by The Preset’s Kim Moyes and this album is noticeably clean without losing the character that have made DMA’s such a popular live act.
One of the leading singles ‘In the Air’ was an interesting choice, rather than the preppy dance beats that normally characterise a first release this chilled-out, melodic track with beautiful lyrics like: ‘something in the way she drifts up there’ and ‘cause I’ve been holding on for so long, honey’, which are made all the more powerful through soft vocals. ‘In the Air’ works so well as a leading single because of the sharp contrast between the band’s image and sound.
‘The End’ is almost Tame Impala-esque with a sound you could both dance and cry to, possibly at the same time. The lyrics berate the changes within ourselves ‘I just can’t describe, how I got so cold, I can feel the end’. It’s here that you can most clearly feel the shift in production that Kim Moyes helped to facilitate, ‘The End’ is an alt-disco otherworldly track so different from anything else DMA’s have released.
Another stand out track is the yearning ‘Tape Deck Slick’, here both the lyrics and the guitars sound like they’re searching for something more. With lyrics like ‘Yet distant minds are learning longing for the same thing, So let me in, Cause I’ve seen visions of you breaking out the daylight’ it’s a track that appeals to our desires for lovers to last long after the love is gone. ‘Tape Deck Slick’ is wistful and dreamy in it’s self-indulgent forlornness.
Both ‘Warsaw’ and ‘Lazy Love’ are reminiscent of the Stone Roses in the days of ‘Elephant Stone’, but the band wear their influences on their sleeve and both tracks are blissful in a type of everlasting optimistic summer of youth. This is a mix of old and new, and proves just how timeless DMA’s will undoubtedly prove to be.
DMA’s are just a band that you have to see live to really ‘get’, and this album is going to be first-class in person. Key dates on the bands tour include the already sold out dates at the Barrowlands in Glasgow and the Manchester Academy. They are also not an act to be missed if they’re on your festival line-up this year. ‘For Now’ is inspiring and original, each track is individual and whilst the album as a whole can fit under categories of inspiration each track feels solely like now. This album is powerful and subtle, nostalgic and new, produced and authentically scratchy. It will no doubt be one of the best releases of the year.
Words: Sophie Shrive