Album Of The Year - Hill's End, The DMA's
As the somewhat disappointing 2016 is now over it is time for our 'Album Of The Year', which was never going to be an easy choice with some brilliant records acting as our lifeline in the despair of the past 12 months. Not only some great collections of songs but also some real thought out projects that have captured an idea and produced an album conveying it , the way Album's were meant to be made! Fortunately this idea of the concept album or simply a running theme flowing throughout one seems to be returning along side the vinyl boom, with artists such as The Coral and Michael Kiwanuka (two artists close to claiming our award) at the forefront of this movement. However, they just missed out on our award, instead, it went to a unique ability to sound like you've heard them a million times before on the first listen whilst remaining incomparable to any band around at the moment. The DMA's have blown us away this year and taken the award simply for the way their music makes us feel, somewhere in between reminiscing the angst of the 90's and wanting to tell everyone in the room you fucking love them.
Their debut album, Hill's End, released in late February gradually made its way into the public eye, with tracks such as 'Lay Down' and 'Too Soon' capturing their appealing full throttled embodiment of mid 90's unrest , a sound that will always go down well, especially in the North of the UK. Speaking of the North, although it is hard to draw many comparisons to other bands due to the DMA's inventive sound characterized by their echoed effects and electro-acoustic sounds, a similarity has to be seen between them and Oasis. Originating from Australia the three-piece have obviously been brought up on a steady diet of Northern Brit pop, a hell of a lot of larger and 'something extra' on the side, not simply sharing the somehow 'Fuck the world' yet uplifting atmosphere as the Manchester group but also the entire lifestyle. If you see any pictures or even better see them live, then you will agree they share the Oasis outlook, with strange, shirt & trackies combo's and 90's Adidas all over the place. This whole concept was partly responsible for their huge success in 2016.
However through all this 90's sweaty aggression , it was their milder, more heartfelt track 'Delete' that really kick started their progress originally released as a single in 2015 . If you looked at the three Ausie lads you might find it hard to believe that something so beautiful could come from them. But delete is as romantic as they get, you could even mistake Tommy's lyrics ( "Don't forget about the stars, the sky, Lucid as the air that blows and light, that shines, just a way to figure out her" ) for those of and old love ballad. All round, the album shows proper versatility and music that makes you feel like their is still hope after the mess of 2016.