Editors' Notes “There’s a big theme about change and adapting to change that’s found lyrically on the record,” DMA’S guitarist Johnny Took tells Apple Music of their third album, THE GLOW. That change also extends to their sound, with the Sydney trio incorporating dance beats and electronic production into the Britpop-inspired songs they’re known for. Frontman Tommy O’Dell has long professed his love for electronic music, while Took’s ten-month stint in Edinburgh during 2019 saw him exploring the genre further. “I had a lot of time on my hands,” he says. “So I had a lot of time to think. I’d walk around those sandstone streets and listen to lots of British electronic music, which kind of felt like a natural trajectory for us.” With the exception of a few songs recorded with Scott Horscroft at The Grove Studios on the Central Coast in New South Wales, the band put their trust in producer Stuart Price (Madonna, New Order) to guide them in this new direction. Here, Took takes us through each track on THE GLOW.

Never Before
“We’d never really done a groove track on a DMA’S album. We try and do verse, pre-chorus, chorus, middle eight, outro and a riff for every song. But we went, this is going to be two chords, back and forth, that invert eventually. It’s about grooving and dance and synthesisers, moving around, and it doesn’t have to be so structured. It was kind of refreshing to move in that direction and set the tone for the record.”

The Glow
“Everyone knows the frustration of being an artist where you think you’re on to something good but nothing’s really come from it yet. And I guess that’s where that lyric–‘I’m sick and tired of chasing the glow’–came from, which is the idea of chasing something bigger or better. When the song was written around five or six years ago, we were chasing it.”

Silver
“‘Silver’ had been around for a long time. It could have well been on the first DMA’S record, but the song wasn’t ready, until we came up to The Grove with Scott Horscroft. It was like, okay, we need another part, and we found that melody that just fit perfectly.”

Life Is a Game of Changing
“It was one of the first songs that evolved from us mucking around with synthesisers and electronic beats, and so we wanted it to be a bold statement as the single, to set the tone to let people know what we’re going to be about on this record.”

Criminals
“This was the last song to make the cut. Working with Stuart, he incorporated lots of these sampled vocals, tuned-down pianos and his level of production, which we hadn’t experimented with before.”

Strangers
“This song was one of the first songs [guitarist Matt] Mason ever brought to the table for DMA’S. Once again, it hadn’t really hit its stride or felt appropriate how we’d done it before, and then we worked with Stuart in the studio. That song’s always had such a massive chorus, and for me it’s one of the kind of ‘cooler’ guitar tracks on the record.”

Learning Alive
“I wrote it really quickly, and it was written on the piano at my parents’ place. Once again, it’s about changing and I guess happiness prevailing through sadness with friendship.”

Hello Girlfriend
“This song nearly didn’t make the album. We butted heads with some of our team on this, but Mason and I just fucking love that song so much. And we loved the direction the album was heading, but we felt like we needed a song like this, which was a bit old-school DMA’S.”

Appointment
“This is a Tommy and Mason one, and I think even when we were recording [2016 debut album] Hills End they worked on this track in between takes. It’s not a single, but I can see it easily being a lot of people’s favourite track on the record.”

Round & Around
“We’ve tried to put this song on every release we’ve ever made. It was originally called ‘Sunday Morning’, and it’s gone through so many changes. We joined a lot of songs. And it sounds great, it’s the rock ’n’ roll tune, you know, it’s nice to have that on the record.”

Cobracaine
“We’ve tried to put it on every release since the start. And it was completely wrong. And it wasn’t until we started discovering synths and electronic beats and stuff that the song really came to life. Mason wrote it when he was 19. It’s about kids driving up to schoolies and having a car crash, which is such a horrible thing that happens every summer. One single moment that changes people’s lives forever.”

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