This week in The Singles Bar #19, Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles features:

New video from AURORA for her latest track, Queendom. It’s an incredibly shot video that highlights AURORA’s keen eye for fashion and as the name suggests, touches on female empowerment and the strength in gentleness. The visuals perfectly match the themes of the song, with lyrics like ‘The women will be my soldiers’ and ‘I will be your warrior/I will be your lamb’.

Labrador’ starts off gradually, easing its foot onto the accelerator as stabbing guitar notes and echoey drums next door subtly build the momentum. Above all else though, the focus continues to be drawn to Maz De Vita’s concentrated vocals, sounding smoother and yet more emotionally raw than ever. It’s those lyrics though, that really suck you in.

“This song is the first time I’ve ever spoken so candidly about my past,” De Vita elaborates. “The title is named after the suburb where I spent a lot of time when I was in my late teens and it’s where a significant relationship ended. Basically, the song underpins the way I felt around the time. I feel like this was the time I began to struggle with depression and when I was about 18, battled with body image issues. When my relationship ended, I didn’t really write music for a couple of years, I smashed my guitar. I felt kind of worthless. I clung to self-deprecation, I felt safe there. I had voices around me that said I wouldn’t amount to anything musically and I thought ‘you were right all along, you’re better than me. I’m never enough.’”

Waax have also been announced to perform at the sold-out Splendour In The Grass

Diplo has released the video for Wish featuring Trippie Redd, the latest offering from his new California EP; following on from previously released videos Get It Right featuring Goldlink and MØ, Worry No More featuring Lil Yachty and Santigold, and Look Back featuring DRAM.

The California EP is the global superstar’s first solo body of work in five years.

The EP’s six new tracks find Diplo collaborating with old friends and new discoveries alike, with features from fellow Columbia Records artists Lil Xan and MØ, DRAM, Lil Yachty, Desiigner, Santigold and Goldlink in addition to Trippie Redd.

The Prince Estate, in collaboration with Warner Bros. Records, has released the original version of Prince’s iconic song Nothing Compares 2 U.

This previously unreleased version was recorded in 1984, six years before 1990’s classic reimagining by Sinéad O’Connor, and before Prince started performing the song live. The track was recorded at the Flying Cloud Drive ‘Warehouse’ in Eden Prairie by Prince’s long-time engineer Susan Rogers, and originally composed, arranged and performed in its entirety by Prince, aside from the backing vocals by Susannah Melvoin and Paul “St. Paul” Peterson. Also featured on the original track is saxophone work by Eric Leeds. The new version of the song will be available to stream, to purchase via digital retailers and as two 7” vinyl singles (in picture disc and standard black vinyl formats).

After the successful launch of the Prince HitNRun online pop-up store, the Prince Estate is bringing back the online store where the limited edition, picture disc vinyl will be sold exclusively. In addition to the limited edition picture disc vinyl, fans will also be able to purchase a variety of official Prince merchandise, including pieces that draw from his iconic Dirty Mind and Lovesexy eras. The black vinyl 7” will be available for pre-order from major physical retailers and will be released on Friday 25th May.

Signalling the beginning of something big, today SKEGSS have unleashed their brand new track Up In The Clouds, fresh off their Groovin’ The Moo date here in Adelaide.

Up In The Clouds is the first proper taste of new material since SKEGSS’ April 2017 EP Holiday Food and is supported by a new video for the song which you can view here.

The band says: “The song’s about being unsure but realising it’s OK to have uncertainty and it’s regular. Some things will always be left uncertain. As soon as we figured that out we made a song about it.”

Taking the song out nationally, Up In The Clouds will further the bands live reputation, of which they have made a name for themselves; with energetic live performances garnering praise from The Music for their “infectious” on-stage chemistry and Moshcam who asserted they “seem to have some sort of hypnotic effect over their fans.”

GRAMMY®-nominated singer-songwriter, producer, actress, and activist Janelle Monáe has released a brand new music video today for her previously released single I Like That.

Monáe made a big splash with the recent announcement of her upcoming Dirty Computer album the accompanying Dirty Computer: An Emotion Picture By Janelle Monáe, releasing buzzworthy visuals for hot singles Make Me Feel, Django Jane and PYNK, giving fans an exciting peek in to the creative vision for her new music.

Her highly-anticipated third album Dirty Computer is out now.

Building on the groundswell of buzz from singles Fix It and Sentiment, Australian duo ALTA are back with their latest anthem Now You Want Me. A tears-in-the-club type tune that soars and burns in equal measure, it further cements the duo as a force majeure in pop music and ones-to-watch. Now You Want Me also comes with a simple yet intricate visual from Melbourne based director Wilderbeest that touches on friendship, love and lust and is the perfect accompaniment to the new single.

Premiered on triple j’s Good Nights, Now You Want Me sees the band deliver a sure-fire hit to the heart. The track features direct yet emotional dance floor moments in the key of love, a 4/4 infusion of the duo’s signature take-it-or-leave-it attitude and driving house rhythms. Hannah Lesser’s rapid fire lyricism and silky vocal takes intertwine with glossy synths and punchy percussion, lending to their slick but carefree sound. It’s otherworldly but beautiful, equal parts emo and pop, a love song for the internet generation.

Pete Murray who has just released his new single Heartbeats, a remix by ARIA-awarding winning Peter Mayes from PNAU. To celebrate, Pete has also announced a three piece acoustic tour that will cross the country playing intimate club shows, supported nationally by exciting newcomer, Matthew Armitage. The special run kicks off in Perth at Rosemount Hotel on June 29, moving through regional and metropolitan cities in Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, and wraps up in Canberra at The Basement on August 26.

This remix of Heartbeats is subtle, and truly showcases Pete’s diversity as an artist. Peter Mayes has expertly crafted understated percussion that percolates underneath Pete’s vocal, and propels the track from heartfelt ballad into edgy new territory for Pete Murray. Fans are sure to love this rework of Heartbeats just as much as the original. “I’m excited to try and do things a little differently these days,” Pete says, “this Heartbeats remix from Peter Mayes is a fun new thing for me and I’m stoked with how it came out.”

Bats on their new single Beirut, “There is a strong social commentary behind the themes of the clip although I tried hard to maintain a sense of humour, because if you can’t laugh at some things the world gets a bit much.

Sprung from ideas and my dabbling in the world of digital art, I have introduced a set of characters symbolising the crazy world we live in. With characters such as “kid who’s seen too much” (the death of innocence),”bikini girl with machine gun head” (sex and violence sells) to “the dancing cams” (SERIOUSLY THERE ARE CAMERAS EVERYWHERE gimme that tinfoil hat!) and “female student in bondage” (the current climate on gender equality). I guess it’s my interpretation on Michael’s lyrics.

The clip was entirely done on Apple devices (hint hint nudge how’s about an endorsement?). As we are very much a DIY group, this meant I could do the entire clip at home, in bed, at the dinner table, more often than not with my three children crawling all over me.”

Just wanted to make sure you were across the new single and music video Rubber Bullies that Tropical Fuck Storm released last Thursday? I would love if you could post this music video to your website and socials?

‘Rubber Bullies’ is a crushing finale from Tropical F*ck Storm, the closing track on their forthcoming debut album A Laughing Death in Meatspace and the last in a series of four 7” singles. This single drops with the news that their second Melbourne show has just SOLD OUT with a third show on Thursday May 10th just announced.

Introducing you to mysterious new artist, Eleon and his debut offering If It Ain’t Me. Think the progressively new pop sounds of ZAYN combined with an urban feel… the single features a sexy, crisp guitar riff matched with hat-heavy beats, faultless falsetto vocals and a hook that is undeniably catchy.

Hailing from LA, Eleon has already garnered over 21,000 streams of his single so far on Soundcloud alone, which grabbed the interest of Australian boutique music label, True Music (Shelley Segal, Maya) who have swiftly signed Eleon for a local deal here in Australia

Ukiyo, otherwise known as Timothy Arnott, has also released a seriously exquisite video to accompany the track; a meditative amalgamation of vision capturing the beauty of the Austrian Alps.

Go moves mountains with subtle, assertive ease; modern, exciting production moulds itself around organic, reassuring piano, and that sweet, intimate vocal sits atop the arrangement like a queen upon a throne. The track is evocative of Flume’s ground breaking production style, but there is something distinct about Go that is incomparable to others within the genre. Thoughtful and introverted, Go is the result of a contemplative plane trip, as Timothy explains, “Go was a track that came about after my first Melbourne show last year. It was my first Ukiyo show outside of my hometown and the first time I’d flown for ages. Being up there is always a harsh reminder of how small we are.. the idea was centred around a feeling of adventure and the possibility of happiness out of sadness. It’s about fixing relationships, whether that be with yourself, someone you love, or something you love.”

The music video for Go is suitably meditative and magnificent all at once. Aerial shots of the Alps in Austria fill the screen and warp, twist, invert – it’s hypnotic and kaleidoscopic, but in a comforting, cyclical way. Directed and shot by the artful Kevin McGloughlin with creative direction and colouring from Brendan Canty, it is truly a wonderfully apt visual representation of the music as it unfolds. Reflecting on the process, Timothy says, “My biggest inspiration for music is always nature, so when it came around to a video clip for Go, I knew the only actor I wanted was the Earth,” as Kevin adds, “I aimed at evoking a sense of atmosphere and adventure while complimenting the beauty of the track, to express a feeling of exploration, and create a calming journey for the viewer…it was an absolute pleasure to work on this project.”

Founding KISS guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame member ACE FREHLEY has released a brand new single today titled Bronx Boy. The new single is the first track of an all-new, untitled full-length solo LP to be released this summer. Bronx Boy is available on all digital music services starting today.

The Wombats continue their meteoric rise with the unveiling of the official video for their track Turn, taken from the new album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, which is available now. The latest track was also Annie Mac’s Hottest Record this week on BBC Radio 1.

The video was directed by Brother Willis (Beirut, King Krule, Wolfmother), and in his words, “There’s something about the pace of the song (coupled with the title of course) that suggested a constantly spinning visual to me. The lyrics so visually depict specific memories that it seemed like a logical way to show memories floating around inside Murph’s head. Also, I love disembodied brains.”

“Turn was written in New York and is probably the most electronic song on the album,” frontman Matthew “Murph” Murphy explains. “Which is weird as I was pushing for the album to be more organic and less synth driven. Turn was… kind of a beautiful mistake.”

Sola Rosa releases the new single Leave A Light On – an effortlessly cool and soulful track that makes way for the upcoming release of the Kiwi act’s new EP, In Spaces, due for release on May 18. Fronted by New Zealand music stalwart, Andrew Spraggon, Sola Rosa once again pushes into new sonic landscapes with Leave A Light On, which features British singer Kevin Mark Trail (The Streets) and the unmistakable voice of Kiwi powerhouse, L.A. Mitchell. “‘Leave A Light On’ was written and recorded in my home studio in Auckland over a previous summer by myself and keyboardist Michal Martyniuk (Nathan Haines) with electric bass and guitar added by local legends Matt Short and Dixon Nacey,” says Spraggon.

“I love this track for Kevin’s mantra like vocals and L.A. Mitchell’s celestial chorus. There’s an effortless charm to it, a simplicity. I also love the remixes on this EP.” – Andrew Spraggon (AKA “Sola Rosa”)

Acclaimed Australian band Augie March today announce their cheery new single The Heaviest Stone, and add an extra Sydney show to their National tour, Sunday May 27 at The Lansdowne.

Here’s what Glenn Richards had to say about “The Heaviest Stone”:
“Obligatory pop song, I don’t know why. I felt like I wanted to be in Teenage Fanclub on a sunny afternoon and there you have it. Of course, I’m not sure the Fanclub ever referenced the dense musings of Sir Thomas Browne though they did have an instrumental called “Neil Jung” if I recall. Jess Cornelius was not at all put out when she turned up to the studio for a backing vocal session and was told “ooh baby baby” were the main words. Instead she got in character and hit it right in the sweet spot. Some would say it’s a waste of a great singer, I say it makes the track.”

For more music news, interviews, live reviews and photos head to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles.