Sunday, December 11, 2022

DMA’S Give Thanks And Throw It Back With Anthem ‘Olympia’

Since their formation in 2012, Sydney trio DMA’S have been on a permanently upward trajectory. Beginning with Britpop-inflected anthems before mixing in techno and other electronic influences in recent times, the group composed of Tommy O'Dell on vocals, Johnny Took on rhythm guitar, and Matthew Mason on lead guitar and backing vocals have perfected this sound into something that feels unique and distinctly Australian. 

With the announcement of fourth album ‘How Many Dreams?’ set for release in March 2023, singles ‘I Don’t Need To Hide’ and ‘Everybody’s Saying Thursday’s The Weekend’ continued in this anthemic dance vein. 

However, the third single ‘Olympia’ is a callback to their self-titled EP and debut album ‘Hills End’ days, as the band dedicates this bonafide Britpop banger to their long-serving and adoring fans.  

From the outset, it’s clear that this truly is a song for those fans who have been following the band “from the start”. More than a hint of the classic DMA’S sound from hits such as ‘Lay Down’ and ‘Play It Out’ can be detected in the sing-along lead guitars from Mason on top of Took’s shoegazey, wall-of-sound accompaniment. Took’s rhythm part switches from simple two-chord progressions in the verses to more complex changes through the chorus, another nod to the ‘Hills End’ era and its classic track ‘Step Up The Morphine’ 

O’Dell’s vocals similarly cut through the mix as ever, his strong upper register contrasting the deep textures of the rest of the band perfectly. Lyrically, the track also calls back to the band’s formative period, seeming to act as a message on how to cope with their success now: “And all these little things you say / It's just a way to combat fame / Don't you miss those early years”. However, if it was ever in doubt that this song was “written for a crowd” as they say, the lyrics certainly do read like a love letter to their audiences. References to “voices [that] start to sing” and “No feeling of space / You're part of me” – almost certainly a nod to the cramped moshpit energy that their crowds bring to each show – are sprinkled throughout, and will only gain so much more passion and emotion when sung between the band and gig-goers on their Spring tour next year. 

All in all, the band proves that the more things change, the more they stay the same. As much as they have explored new sonic territory over the last couple of albums, this track shows that they can still knock out a classic banger that will get crowds singing along just as much as they did in the mid-2010s. It’s indeed “Olympia forever” for DMA’s, and listeners are very lucky for that fact. 


David Harrold 


Image: ‘Olympia’ Official Single Cover

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