By Kate Waldock
On the 12th July, DMAs are set to release an album of their MTV unplugged set. MTV Unplugged had something of a reboot in 2017, after almost 20 years without the programme. DMAs are the latest among a line of great musicians to grace the series, and they did not disappoint. The Australian trio, made up of Tommy O’Dell, Johnny Took, and Matt Mason, are garnering a lot of excitement from their loyal fans with this latest album, following the recent release of ‘For Now’ in 2018. The unplugged set was played in Melbourne, Australia, the band’s home country.
DMAs’ music has been compared to Oasis due to their undeniable Britpop influence, except, of course, minus the tedious everlasting Gallagher feud we’ve all come to know and hate. Their first big hit, ‘Delete’, calls to mind a kind of ‘last call’ vibe at a pub. DMAs’ most recent album, ‘For Now’ (2018), carries an upbeat sound, as heard in the song ‘The End’. The new Unplugged album takes these upbeat songs, and injects a sense of sadness or tranquility into them. This just underlines their amazing talent for combining the melancholic with the positive.
The upcoming album contains some of their biggest hits, and puts an acoustic spin on them. In stripping the songs down it brings out the excellent riffs in songs such as ‘Delete’, or ‘Lay Down’. Lead singer Tommy O’Dell’s voice is clear over the stunning acoustic, as the guitar never overpowers his voice. In mentioning his voice, I can’t go without describing the harmony that the DMAs achieve between vocals and music. O’Dell’s voice is beautifully rough, and the crisp guitar gives the album shiver inducing tracks. The conviction with which he sings each song, the steady build-up of them (‘Delete’), and the violin based bridges (‘Emily Whyte’) make this album a must-listen, even if you have listened to each of the original recordings to death before.
One of the best parts about this album is the folk influence reflected in it. When violins or fiddles are used in music, it adds definition to the song, and this is reflected in the Unplugged album. It is so refreshing to see musicians mixing genres in 2019. The original recordings of many of these songs, such as ‘Step Up the Morphine’ have a Britpop vibe to them, but with this latest album they could be entirely new songs. DMAs are unafraid to change up their music in their live versions and concerts, which makes them one of the more impressive artists on the stage.
Their latest album, ‘MTV Unplugged Live’ is out on the 12th July.