Album of the Week: DMA’S – How Many Dreams? ★★★★

DMA'S pose in front of a host of wires coming from a sound system ahead of their upcoming album, How Many Dreams?. From L to R, Johnny Took, Matt Mason & Tommy O'Dell. Picture shot by Reuben Bastienne-Lewis. Picture by Reuben Bastienne-Lewis

By Evie Shields (she/her)

Despite hailing from down under, DMA’S are one of the biggest, most important bands in the U.K. indie scene, and they confirm it on How Many Dreams?

The Australian trio has developed a strong, nostalgic sound on their first three albums, and lead vocalist Tommy O’Dell – who has just been blessed with one of those voices, one that anyone could recognise – uses album four to build on the band’s signature sound.

They have released four singles prior to the album’s release, ‘Olympia’, ‘Everybody’s Saying Thursday’s The Weekend’, ‘I Don’t Need To Hide’ and ‘Feeling Like A Picture’. ‘Olympia’ features a really funky guitar riff throughout, and the album has a clever well-balanced divide between slow songs like ‘Forever’ and ‘Dear Future’, versus more upbeat songs like ‘Olympia’ and ‘Get Ravey’.

How Many Dreams? is like if rave and Britpop had a baby. A strange comparison, admittedly, but the infusion of synth and strings throughout helps give the project a feeling reminiscent of Urban Hymns by The Verve, and, for an Australian band, the album sounds so quintessentially British; reminding me of My Mad Fat Diary, Trainspotting, and the British 90s indie club scene that we’ve all seen on TV.

Despite the familiarity we now share with the DMA’S unique sound, they continue to grow into a more substantial band, consistently playing well live and always sounding great on tracks. Their sound is clear cut and well defined, but at the same time sharply experimental, showcasing the confidence the boys have in one another.

The album weaves together ideas of electronic music, strings, and classic indie rock, and the trio do this masterfully. ‘Forever’ is another slow track, that like the other downtempo cuts on the album, portrays a sound reminiscent of The Verve’s iconic ‘Bittersweet Symphony’.

My favourite songs on the album are ‘Everybody’s Saying Thursdays The Weekend’, the super upbeat ‘Get Ravey’ and the album closer, ‘De Carle’. The dance elements that feature on these tracks, intertwined with the band’s classic indie rock sound, mix well together, in my opinion, and show DMA’s strength.

How Many Dreams? is a very solid album. I genuinely look forward to everything the Aussie group does, so it’s no surprise this project has won me over as it has. DMA’S are truly one of the best bands of recent years, and this album shows it.

DMA’s fourth album, How Many Dreams? is out Friday, March 31st, on OH YOU. Check it out here.