Born in the remote city of El Paso, Texas, The D.A. is a secret too good to be kept. The buzz surrounding this singular dance-rock quintet has been spreading since its formation in 2007. Over two releases, five tours and countless festival appearances and high-profile opening spots, this earworm juggernaut has been barreling forward, winning converts to a sound that tweaks the indie-rock formula with a flourish of synthesizer and trumpet. The music of The D.A. encompasses many contradictions: they’re electronic and organic, brainy and bawdy, smooth and knotty, instantly accessible and sonically complex. It’s a mindful sort of mania, fusing the rhythmic explosiveness of The Rapture, the quirky joie de vivreof The Talking Heads, the lyrical wryness of Modest Mouse and an instrumental blend like no other. The band, currently working on a hotly anticipated EP, brought the noise to New York at CMJ Music Festival last October.
The D.A.’s ascent truly picked up in 2011, with two tours of the western U.S., sets during SXSW and a self-released debut album, You Kids! The 10-song release, produced by Justin Leeah (sound engineer for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ It’s Bliz!), more fully captured their beloved live sound than their 2009 EP, Thank God for Aluminum. The album was well received by fans and kicked off the momentum of 2012, which saw a West Coast tour with fellow El Paso darlings Bulletproof Tiger.
In the past two years The D.A. has shared stages with the likes of Twin Shadow, Toro y Moi, Yelle, Foster the People, Crystal Castles, Holy Fuck, Miniature Tigers, Prefuse 73 and Nite Jewel. The band cut through the din of SXSW 2012 with five shows, including one at the Trophy Room in the heart of Sixth Street. In another festival coup, the band has graced Neon Desert Music Festival in El Paso not once but twice. The annual destination for indie and underground music is in its nascent stages, but already it draws huge crowds and big names like Moby, MSTRKRFT, CSS, Beach Fossils, YACHT and Classixx. The D.A. was rubbing elbows and sharing stages with the best of them. Don’t be surprised if you see their name at the top of the bill someday.