DMA’s have shared the video for new singe ‘We Are Midnight’ from their surprise new EP. See it first on NME below along with our interview with guitarist Johnny Took.
Last week saw the Aussie trio share surprise new EP ‘I Love You Unconditionally, Sure Am Going To Miss You’ as an unexpected follow up to the band’s third album ‘The Glow’, which hit Number Four in the UK charts in 2020. Leading single ‘We Are Midnight’, as Took told us, is a “deeply innocent” track and one of the first love songs he’s written.
“I just remember sitting on the couch in Melbourne and playing my partner’s guitar when we’d just started going out,” Took told NME. “If anyone is listening to a song about new love, it’s pretty relatable and open and we wanted to capture that through the music.”
The accompanying video is made up of a montage of grainy VHS shot clips of their time experiences during lockdown. “It was giving a snapshot of each of our personal lives through the pandemic”, Took said of the concept. “I feel like it’s quite an innocent video. We’re not a big talking band really, we don’t say much at gigs and we don’t give a lot away so I think it’s nice for people to see a more personal side to us.”
Took went on to tell us how the “noisy as fuck” new EP is intended as a “gift for original fans of the band.”
“It was born out of the pandemic but also our third album,” he told NME. “We had strayed away from our original sound with ‘The Glow’, which was natural because we were working with the producer Stuart Price [Dua Lipa, The Killers, New Order] who is very dynamic and mostly known for his electronic stuff which was important for us to explore.”
The guitarist explained that the possibilities felt “limitless” while working with Price, but that ultimately the band selected songs that would play to the strengths of the producer. “It’s important for us to keep pushing the boundaries and changing what we do, but at the same time we left some fans wanting that noisier, guitar-driven, raucous sound.”
The band themselves also missed that element of their early sound, with Took explaining how the new four-track release marks a “nostalgic trip back to their roots” brought on by the quiet life of the pandemic. “We realised we weren’t going to be able to tour – and for the first time ever we’re actually at the stage where you can surprise drop an EP and it might have some impact,” he said.
Not only is the release a return to their early sound musically, the band also self-produced in the same place where they made their debut album ‘Hills End’. “It was funny going back to the same studio to our early practices but we’re all seven years more experienced,” said Took. “So as much as you try and rekindle that early energy, it’s never going to be the same thing – because you’ve naturally grown and changed as people.”
He continued: “It felt like we could do anything, not that there are any rules usually, but you’d be conscious of going ‘this is the kind of album we’re going to make’ with certain producers. This EP was all about us and our fans. It was just us having fun and doing what we do best.”
As for the lengthy title of the EP, Took explained how it was inspired by harkening back to their formative years with a fair share of nostalgia.
“My good friend was going overseas to see her family and she left that note on a piece of paper for me and I had it stuck on a white pin-board,” he said, describing the EP’s artwork. Eagle-eyed fans will have recognised the hand-written note from a blink-and-you-miss it still from the video their debut single ‘Delete’. “Now the board is completely covered in faded photos from that era of when the band first started and we were living in this apartment at 37 Buckland Lane – it’s basically where the band started and we first started writing songs,” he revealed.
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Fans might also be pleased to hear that the sound of the new EP could be a sign of things to come on their fourth album.
“When you have an experience like making this EP, it’s amazing how much you learn about yourself, it makes you realise where you’re at and what path of music you want to write,” said Took. “I want to work with a big producer on the next record but I don’t want to forget the parts of going back to our roots and the noise and anarchy that we’ve made in some of these tracks on the EP. It was us checking in with ourselves a bit – not getting too carried away and going too far down the pop road or something like that.”
Looking forward, DMA’s immediate focus is on their long-awaited return to the UK and Ireland this year. “It really blows us away every time, we’ve just been wanting to get back over there again as quickly as possible,” said Took. “We didn’t want to disappoint the fans that we’ve got over there, it’s pretty cool that we’re going to be coming back with a fresh release as well as playing ‘The Glow’.”
Took added: “Having more of that electronic element in there is really exciting for me. Bringing that into the live set has made it more three dimensional, we’ve got the singalong ballads, we’ve got the rock and roll stuff where it’s just back to basics.
“I’m just really proud of where the live set is now. It’s really tied the whole show together and I just can’t wait to get out there and play it to people.”
‘I Love You Unconditionally, Sure Am Going To Miss You’ is out now. DMA’s will be returning to the UK for an extensive rescheduled tour in October.