Sunday, January 29, 2023

New Year, Old DMA’S On Single ‘Fading Like A Picture’

Sydney trio DMA’S kick off their release year 2023 in style with ‘Fading Like A Picture’, the fourth single from the fourth album ‘How Many Dreams?’

Following hot on the heels of the December-released ‘Olympia’Fading Like A Picture’ is yet another anthemic throwback to their original blend of Britpop guitar-band sounds with Australian sensibilities that caused them to be a hit in both hemispheres. 

In the same vein as the preceding single, ‘Fading Like A Picture’ jumps straight into gear with the DMA’S trademark bouncy acoustic guitar from Johnny Took and Matthew Mason’s melodic soloing. It’s almost impossible not to imagine crowds jumping about with fans on their shoulders waving arms to this. This is a classic DMA’S sound made for concert venues.

The live sound is complemented by Tommy O’Dell’s vocals, carrying simple, yet impactful lyrics with a singalong melody that is ripe for being sung back to him. Distinct themes emerge in the songwriting from its opening, as O’Dell sings “You can have it all underneath the stars / Fading like a picture, picture that never was / We can have it all underneath the sun / Fading like a picture, picture that's never gone” – a sense of forlorn hope is immediately established, as O’Dell looks to reach for the sky in hopes of reigniting the spark with an unrequited love interest or friendship. 

One thing that the ‘Hills End’ era was exceptional in doing – and that this song successfully calls back to – was perfectly crafting a pre-chorus that builds anticipation for a blockbuster refrain. Cutting the texture back to only Took’s guitar and a few well-placed strums from Mason, the momentum builds up to a wall-of-sound explosion of colour for the chorus. Again, in the listener’s mind jumps to visions of circle pits opening and closing with each ebb and swell in the music – DMA’S are truly one of the few bands that successfully capture their unparalleled live energy in their studio recordings. 

Four singles in, and ‘How Many Dreams?’ now looks set to be a mixed bag between DMA’S rave-influenced tracks of late and their old-style Britpop bangers that burst them onto the scene. Come its release on March 31, it's certain that ‘Fading Like A Picture’ will remain a favourite amongst the band's tracks – but even more certain will be its popularity among the UK crowds come the Aussie rockers’ live shows in the late spring. 


David Harrold

Image: Kalpesh Lathigra

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