When DMA’s signed to Australian indie label I OH YOU this February, the Newtown trio was so freshly minted that they hadn’t even played a show yet. That isn’t to say they were totally green–all three members (Tommy O’, Matt Mason, and Johnny Took) had gigged extensively with previous bands–and under their new moniker, DMA’s nonchalantly released a debut single called “Delete” and a self-tited EP a month after signing to the label. At first glance, they seem like tough guys, wearing flipped-up ball caps, slouchy sweatpants, and matching thousand-yard disenchanted gazes. But DMA’s doesn’t make spacey alt-hip hop. On the contrary! Channeling the lighter side of 90s garage rock, the group grounds its sound in nostalgic, bleeding vocals that can’t help but cull feeling out of a song.
The latest single, “So We Know,” hits new highs of gravelly, emotional vocal prowess. A mostly unadorned guitar swirls absentmindedly in the background, highlighted lightly by strings. It’s a successful experiment in the emotive power of a simple ballad, carried out by a band that–though they’ve been around for less than a year–trusts their melody enough to lay it bare. No frills needed.
Listen to the poignant new track “So We Know,” which will be included on a forthcoming 7″ from DMA’s, below: