DMA’S are not exactly a brand-new addition to the indie music scene. ‘How Many Dreams?’ will be the fourth album within their discography, and their first for a few years. In the past, one might have considered their musical roots existing within Britpop or indie rock, and whilst this is a genre that has enabled the band to languish within a certain level of success, it could be argued that they existed a step from true musical greatness; to be remembered as symbolic of a certain musical era, to find the legend status ushered upon you. To put it simply, what I find to be simply great, and what I believe will change with their new work ‘How Many Dreams’ is the fact that DMA’S went to the restaurant of music and decided that they wanted a buffet. Each track within the ‘How many dreams’ album claims inspiration from a unique combination of various music genres. The title track, ‘How Many Dreams?’ exists as the lovechild of Tame Impala, Gorillaz and The Chemical Brothers. The minimalistic lyrics, alongside a melody of great vitality captures certain surrealistic notions inspiring one’s own thoughts, feeling and emotions. In the context of the album, I believe that this track is instrumental in both setting the tempo and instilling the key theme of creative inspiration. Dreams are not monotonous or uniform, and neither is DMA’S new album.
This trend is further conveyed throughout the work. ‘Everyone’s saying the Thursday is the weekend’ is a track which I believe attempts to capture the spirit of youth culture today. It is a recognisable, radio-smash hit that is easy to sing-along and conveys the anxieties and pressures that many feel in both comprehending our place in the world, and the urge for finding happiness amongst the finite nature of our existence. ‘Dear future’, conveys echoes of The Verve and Oasis, that could be described as a 2023 reimagining of 90’s Britpop. ‘I don’t need to hide’ demonstrates a significant genre switch to more a dramatic disco-techno pop that one may expect from a Eurovision entry, with a visceral techno underbody that sounds somewhat like Underworld, and a vocal style resembling Adam Levine.
There is no greater contrast in the choice of musical styles than in the last two tracks on the album- ‘Something we are overcoming’ and ‘DeCarle’. Comparing these two tracks is like comparing day and night. On the one hand, ‘Something we are overcoming’ is a creation of outgoing disco-electronica, with a resemblance of later Strokes, or Phoenix. This is in complete contrast to the techno-dubstep found in ‘DeCarle’, reminiscent of The Chemical Brothers ‘MAH’ track. For both these tracks to not only be by the same act, in the same album, but straddled next to each other is more than just remarkable, but frankly absurd. It will be fascinating to observe the reaction of the DMA fanbase to this album, and for myself the experience of hearing ‘De Carle’ was startling- in a very positive way.
I would have to say that I found this album to be quite remarkable, and the eclectic attitude that the DMA’s have taken to music genres is certainly quite unique. Tracks such as ‘Everyone’s saying that Thursday is the weekend’, and ‘Dear Father’ will be fantastic live, and I believe that the eclectic nature of this album has given each track a unique identity that will ensure that both individual tracks and the album will live long in the memory of fans, old and new. Whilst I can’t say that this style works for every song on the track, and there is a question over whether such an attempt led to a feeling of being diffuse within certain tracks (‘forever’ and ‘fading like a picture’ felt slightly mediocre and aimless), ultimately the diverse yet powerful nature of the rest of the album means that it certainly excels. The DMA’s have mastered disco, Britpop, techno, indie, electronic and by a looser extension rock, all in the same album. I find this this be quite ground-breaking, and I am sure that this work will stay in the mind of music enthusiasts for many years. Personally, I live for the moments of surprise and exclamation within music and even if this album spectacularly failed, I would have applauded DMA’s audacity for its attempt in subverting genre boundaries. Fortunately for them it does not, and I hope that other musicians are encouraged to expand the nature of their creative expression in a resembling manner.