Nocturnal, extroverted; you already know the cliches used when a band gaits the nightlife – think the late-night radio vibes of Arctic Monkeys’ AM – and they have always applied to DMA’s in one way or another. New album How Many Dreams chains itself to the club in a musical hunger strike, zooming in on the Aussie band’s already-existent clubby motifs, less hinting, now an out-and-out rave.
Eyes-on-the-floor laments are still a mainstay, even if that floor is now a dancefloor. Still in tune with the Britpop that influenced them (the cultural throwbacks and mutant-voiced heroes of the late 20th Century), the laments will morph into familiar shapes depending on what instruments DMA’s can get their hands on. Check out the string backing of Forever, that’s Bittersweet Symphony all over. Still bittersweet, still symphonic, still containing an upgraded drum pattern with verve in its beat.
Atmospheres and further chamber sprawls tuck in and out of Dear Future, occasionally groggy and uninterested before springing like a garden. Classic baroque pop-on-piano embraces the ground beneath the feet of Jai Alai, sappy lyrics on a sappy sound that will evoke nostalgia in simplicity.
DMA’s are still happy to be a rock band, firing Cure-like riffs through the surface of Get Ravey, ironically less rave-inspired despite its title, and despite otherworldly interjections of synth. Fading Like a Picture is spiritedly straight out of the mid 2000s indie pop-rock playbook, guitars bend and rock out, voices sway towards the moonlight, deep in thought despite a heavy kick.
But there is an upswing in dance influence, now utterly photogenic as a frothing instrumental base crams as many sparkling pads and overdubs as possible into the title track. A breakbeat is gently applied to I Don’t Need to Hide, the sprint in the end credits to a classic ‘90s British movie, a quick boost of grace with a clubby kick drum.
Something We Are Overcoming juggles numerous club genres, house with trance tinges and dubstep drops, showered by multiple waves of ecstasy at once. Liveliness is sparked by an energetic rhythm on Olympia, as further ecstasy is granted by a flickering synthetic guitar, an elongated hammer-on.
And DMA’s don’t even need to head in such a direction to claim the pep that fills How Many Dreams. Everybody’s Saying Thursday’s the Weekend is evidence, with some synthesisers subtly homing around the pre-chorus and chorus, but youthful lyrics and some of the band’s most presentable production does the job that any blinking lights would’ve. It’s also the most sincerely catchy song on the album.
Familiar British club life rumbles through the entirety of How Many Dreams; it’d sound as if it was plucked straight from the ‘90s if it wasn’t so futuristic. Combining indie ideals with noted nocturnality and extroversion, DMA’s latest earns the same tags that we removed from our pockets to throw at The 1975’s Notes on a Conditional Form like confetti. It’s a blistering rave, the latest sting from a band happy to grow.