DMA’s @ Black Cat

Up-and-coming Sydney, Australia based indie trio DMA’s, brought their accents and talent to Black Cat on Thursday night to introduce Washingtonians to their sound before they become a name quickly associated with Australian music in the United States.

Watching the DMA’s perform live, it is easy to see their ’90s Britpop influences. The DMA’s sound and visual cues during their live performance gave crystal clear evidence to these influences. However, instead of having a cocky attitude like those ’90s Britpop groups, the DMA’s seemed to have an extremely chill attitude, which made them all seem standoffish, yet insanely cool at the same time. This made the listener feel detached from the performance in a provocative way.

DMA’s brought a calming energy to the District. Overall, their energy was extremely mellow. There was no punchy vocals or aggressive guitar riffs. Tommy O’Dell’s vocals seemed to surround you in an airy-haze that both intrigued and relaxed you.

O’Dell never really introduced songs before going into them, and the group rarely stopped playing to indicate the start of a new song. For a relatively unknown band, this made it difficult to pin-point which song was which, and made it impossible to be able to name your favorite song.

Towards the middle of the set, O’Dell started to give the crowd a thumbs up at the end of very song. At first, this seemed strange, but as he continued to do so this gesture helped build a rapport with the audience, and gave O’Dell an endearing image.

The DMA’s rough-around-the edges sound live gave the performance a real and honest vibe. The acoustic-to-electric transmissions and layered harmonies were still present, but in a less polished studio-manner. The trio performed “Lay Down” and “Blown Away” from their latest release Hill’s End.

Even with the venue being only a third full, DMA’s put all of their heart and soul into their performance. Throughout the set, the trio was interested in getting everyone to join in the performance by either swaying, or singing, along to all of the songs. It was easy to tell that the DMA’s have developed an underground presence in the District because a handful of people were singing their hearts out to every song. At the end of the set, it was easy to tell that the DMA’s had gained a greater following.

Photo Courtesy of SceneWave

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