It’s here! DMA’S have finally released their highly anticipated sophomore album For Now, growing their jangly guitar pop into a euphoric but reflective collection of catchy goodness.
Releasing a follow-up to 2016’s phenomenal debut Hills End was always going to be a mountainous enterprise, but right from the drop of lead single ‘Dawning‘ it was clear the band were flying above the task. With brutally honest lines hidden behind sweet, summery guitars, the track exemplifies what the Sydney trio do best – make sensitive pop songs with ridiculously catchy hooks.
This is true for the entire 12 track album, which varies track to track in instrumentation, tempo and lyrics but consistently strikes you in the heart and remains in your head hours later. For Now actually tones down the thick walls of guitar from the first album, instead opting for sophisticated arrangements that include acoustic guitar, piano and hints of softly sweeping strings. This restraint leaves room for Tommy O’Dell’s lyrics to hit hard, as lines like “I’m lonelier than I’ve ever been” (‘Dawning‘) and “It’s all on me” (‘Emily Whyte‘) are only made more poignant by the gently building soundtracks underneath.
But the album isn’t lacking energy for all of its emotion. Opening and title track ‘For Now‘ propels you through dark riff territory into an intense, psych-infused ride that speeds through feelings of losing control.
Fifth track, ‘The End‘ is a disco-inspired surprise on the album, combining nihilist lyrics “I can feel the end, is there something more?” with a dance beat and synthesisers. But as always the jangly guitars and O’Dell’s perfectly understated vocals make it fit seamlessly within the album.
Towards the end of the album ‘Tape Deck Sick‘ stands out with indie guitars, pleading lyrics and a tightly driven rhythm section. The track is equal parts loving and longing, sweet and sad, gentle and tough. It takes all of DMA’S natural strengths and refines them into a sophisticated but unique pop song.
Despite what the name suggests, this collection of songs isn’t just For Now. DMA’S have created an album of pleasant and provocative guitar pop that will be revered for years to come.
Words by Hayley Franklin.