DMA's deliver their most innovative, ambitious single yet with the 90s rave era influenced, 'Life Is A Game Of Changing'.
Announcing their third studio album is due out in April, Sydney trio DMA'S heralded in their next chapter last week with an unpredictable left turn that not many saw coming. A band that has become synonymous with evolving their sound with each release while still keeping their trademark authenticity that made them so appealing way back at the start, you might've been forgiven for expecting their next single to be somewhat in the same vein as their 2019 single, 'Silver'. Hitting number 20 in the Hottest 100 countdown for the year, 'Silver' was quintessentially DMA'S - infusing their Britpop influences with their absolutely flawless songwriting, it was a classic cut from the band and a total no-brainer when it came to being a hit — which is why their most recent single, 'Life Is A Game Of Changing' has everyone talking.
From the opening seconds, you can hear things are going to be different with this song. Lush synths and a gentle pulsing beat start things off before a drum roll heralds in not just the song, but a new era for the band. A dance beat and crisp guitar echo kick into gear before lead singer Tommy O'Dell's now instantly-recognisable vocals croon. Building in intensity, the song races forward as the relentless, demanding beat pulses along. Threatening to break, the bridge gives us a slight reprieve as O'Dell's now yearning voice pleads: "All I want for you to see/ Is here and now, for life to be/ The change it comes/ The change it goes/ For you to see, and now you know." It's this bridge that confirms your suspicions: DMA'S have made a dance banger.
From here, it's one anthemic moment after the other, with the early 90s rave scene influences heavily present throughout. The thumping beat, the explosive hook, the expansive and intense bridges giving you a quick breather just when you need it: it's a checklist of all the makings of a definitive dance song that the band have worked through to get here, but it never comes across as forced or inauthentic. It's the work of a band who have studied their influences, become students of their inspirations and become masters at paying tribute to those who have come before them while still making their own way too. Through pleading lyrics, the song begs you to let go and surrender completely, if just for a little while, while reassuring you you're not in it alone.
Previously paying tribute to eras in music like Oasis as their most iconic, Madchester, flecks of Britpop and more, DMA'S now turn their sights onto new ground, and have tapped Stuart Price (who has worked with New Order and Madonna) to produce their new album, which might explain a bit of this new sound. It's this that makes them feel so wholly nostalgic and familiar, but its their innate knack for impeccable songwriting, their ambition to continually try new things and the undeniable partnership that exists between the band's members that keeps them firmly facing towards the future. DMA'S have always been a band to not only never leave their fans behind while gathering new ones along the way, and they'll continue to do this with this new record as well. Managing to not alienate existing fans while evolving as a band is not an easy feat, and many have failed when their urge to be "new" or "different" is prioritised over maintaining their authenticity, but DMA'S seem to make it look positively easy each and every time.
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As the glittery synths start to fall and usher in the song's end it's suddenly all over, but for just over four minutes DMA'S deliver an incendiary, euphoric anthem. Having already taken the song on the road on the weekend at the first two stops of Laneway Festival, it's a surefire smash just waiting to happen and another ready-made festival moment they've got in the bag. Taken from their forthcoming third album, THE GLOW, its a surprising lane-switch from one of this country's most exciting, ambitious and innovative bands, and one that has us desperate to hear more.
Words by Emma Jones.
Image by McLean Stephenson.