This week in The Singles Bar #20, Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles features:

Multiple GRAMMY® Award winner Jason Mraz has release of his eagerly anticipated new single Have It All, which is available now at all digital music retailers and streaming services.

Have It All was written by Mraz with David Hodges (Christina Perri, Kelly Clarkson) and JKash (Maroon 5, Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor) in collaboration with his friends in Raining Jane (Mona Tavakoli, Chaska Potter, Mai Bloomfield, and Becky Gebhardt), and produced by Andrew Wells. The track was originally conceived after Mraz received and translated a blessing from a Buddhist monk during a moving visit to Myanmar in 2012. However, current events compelled him to bring Have It All fully to life at last.

“The world had changed a lot since 2012,” Mraz says. “More people are marching for their freedoms and equality; to be seen and heard. Activism is back in style. I wrote a lot of frustrated, angry, even sad songs between then and now, but nothing I wanted to come forward with; nothing I wanted to sing. Have It All stood out as a song with a hopeful message to help me heal and move forward; a song with a message of generosity – the antithesis of despondency; a song bestowed to me by translating a message from a monk. It’s a blessing disguised as a rap song and it’s meant to be paid-forward and shared.”

Simon Paparo who has just released his new single, Gold At Midnight. Gold At Midnight is a beautifully crafted folk song, inspired by his now fiancé about the strong feelings he felt towards her early on in their relationship. Simon’s smooth vocal and harmonies mixed in with the simple and effective acoustic guitar, really sets the tone for this heartfelt love song. The video is the perfect accompaniment to the song, filmed in Melbourne, it captures a couple during these early stages as they frolic around the warm and unmistakable Australian landscape.

All eyes are on Middle Kids as they prepare to release their debut album LOST FRIENDS this Friday. Fresh from a killer performance on Jimmy Kimmel in the US last week, showcasing singles Mistake and On My Knees, comes the news that they’ve landed feature record on triple j right across this week.

They’ve also released a further taste of LOST FRIENDS in the shape of album track, Bought It. Lead singer / guitarist Hannah Joy says, “Bought It is the opening track on our debut album, Lost Friends. It’s a song for the weird nights where you’re looking for something but got no idea what. It hopes to bring you into its atmosphere and let you linger in it long after the song has finished.”

Ed Sheeran has announced his new single Happier alongside his Emil Nava-produced accompanying official video. Happier, lifted from Ed’s record-breaking, 14 million-selling third studio album ‘÷’, is accompanied by a brilliant visual from Emil Nava (Eminem, Rihanna), who has worked on many of Ed’s official videos since the start of his career. Shot to the backdrop of New York and following the song’s emotive narrative, we see Ed’s lookalike puppet, which made its debut in the official video for Sing, return for yet another show-stealing performance in the accompanying video. To date, Happier has received over 400 million streams and has landed 8 x Platinum/5 x Gold certifications across the globe.

Sheeran most recently brought the Divide World Tour down under, playing a record breaking 12 stadium dates across the country and selling over 1 million tickets. This tour was titled the biggest stadium tour in Australia & NZ – breaking the record set by British rock band Dire Straits 32 years ago.

Liam Payne has today released the video for his single Familiar with J Balvin. The video was shot in Miami and stars both Liam and J Balvin. Since its release two weeks ago, Liam’s single Familiar has been streamed over 16 million times on Spotify already. The lyric video has seen over 10 million views in the week since it was released.

Blue Poles, the fifth album by Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders, is now released via Barely Dressed Records / Remote Control. From one of the most singular characters in Australian music, Blue Poles is mournful, sardonic and surreal – showcasing an essential voice and master of musical narrative. To complement the album release is a mesmerising new video for the song Susan. Inspired by 1980s psychic hotline infomercials, director Leilani Croucher (from Revolver / Will O’Rourke) interpreted the song as someone looking for answers and in the process “losing themselves in the desire to become something else”.

With new single Essendon 1986 premiering on Zan Rowe’s Mornings program on Double J, East Brunswick All Girls Choir are proud to announce their new album Teddywaddy to be released Friday 29th June via Milk! Records / Remote Control Records. The band are launching the album at the Northcote Social Club on Friday 13th July before touring across Australia with Courtney Barnett in August.

For new single Essendon 1986 frontman Marcus Hobbs shares – “The song is about the drudgery lumped upon the working class in order to maintain. It’s about the little things people do in order to feel like they’re not churning the butter, often to feel like they’re not where they really are. I still don’t know who decided we were meant to work 5 days a week between 9-5, what monster came up with this concept?”

The video, watch via the image below, was shot in Castlemaine and directed by Thomas Hyland – “Working with Tom was a dream and it was great to go back to a theatre we had played in before in Castlemaine. Tom took all the stress away from pushing through a single day shoot and has been a real angel with the amount of punishing we’ve put him through post filming” – says Hobbs.

Today, Starcrawler have launched a new video, for their song Love’s Gone Again. The single comes from their debut self-titled album out now via Rough Trade / Remote Control. Filmed mainly at two shows in Tokyo during their recent sold-out tour of Japan, the video for Love’s Gone Again is a fun view into their stunning and impressive live shows, and the amazing reaction from audiences in Japan.

Starcrawler recently were awarded the 2018 SXSW Grulke Prize for Developing U.S. Act after blowing minds at each of their nine shows that week.

Last week was a whirlwind for Parquet Courts. They flew to Los Angeles for a brief visit to serenade Ellen and her TV studio audience with a jubilant performance of Wide Awake, the title track off their forthcoming album (out May 18 via Rough Trade / Remote Control).

After that, they headed for a quick jaunt through Texas performing at Levitation Fest in Austin. Today, they share their new single, ‘Mardi Gras Beads.’ The song is the first Austin Brown-penned album track revealed thus far, and the sonic difference cannot be denied. While the A. Savage songs have presented a “D. Boon-meets-Dee-lite” vibe, Brown’s songs represent a more tender and emotionally exposed side to the album.

The video picks up where Wide Awake left off, focusing on Austin as he contemplatively walks the streets and lots of New Orleans. “It’s a song about commitment to yourself for better or worse”, says Brown. As with ‘Wide Awake’, Brother Willis directed ‘Mardi Gras Beads’ during Mardi Gras. The song was released as a Record Store Day exclusive two weekends ago, so fans who purchased the 7″ got an early listen.

After electrifying the crowds at SXSW in Austin last year, the US industry was quick to pounce on Sydney five-piece Castlecomer; within weeks the boys had inked deals with American label Concord Records, Paradigm Agency and Mushroom Music Publishing. Now comes MOVE, the first track lifted from their heavily anticipated debut album, currently slated for an October release.

The lads from Castlecomer spent time in the studio late last year with Producer Adrian Breakspear (Gang of Youths Go Farther in Lightness), before heading to New York to have the tune mastered by Grammy Award Winner Joe LaPorta (The Weekend, David Bowie, Run the Jewels).

With sonic hints of Daft Punk and Phoenix, frontman Bede says that the band “wanted a tune to lead our charge into America”– alluding to their move to Nashville in 2018. The song encapsulates the raw energy, drive and enthusiasm the band are feeling towards their relocation. “It celebrates the ability for music to overcome cultural differences and shines a light on the insecurities we all feel and the power that music and dance can have in overcoming fear”.

Australian dynamic pop duo Client Liaison have revealed their brand new single Survival in the City. To coincide with the release, the duo will be launching Survival in the City with a debut show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia next Wednesday 16 May at 8pm in Sydney, where they will launch the Client Liaison Deluxe Line Resort 2018 fashion collection for the very first time.

Client Liaison says of the track – “Survival in the City is a phrase we’ve had kicking round for some time. Its ties into our core themes addressing the fast pace of corporate culture. It’s about living the grind and chasing the struggle, where the city is an eternal lure for a life bigger, faster and greater”.

Orlean are an electronic duo featuring producer Terry Mann and vocalist Bella Li. New release Horizons, is the third release off their upcoming self-titled debut EP, which is out June 8th. As on previous offerings, Li’s delicate principal vocals break free from a bed of Enya-esque layers, while restrained production elements drive the track underneath, with nods to 90s trip hop.

The accompanying clip was made by Mann using footage from the Prelinger Archives of American cultural history. Set on a somewhat Orwellian stage, it explores the balance between expansive beauty and monotonous routine.

Mann has shared great insight into the track: “Lyrically, the song is about the ongoing mental battle between confidence and doubt; between feeling grateful for how lucky or privileged you are, and wanting or expecting something more. Knowing the earth is round but seeing a straight horizon line is a warped perception of limits. We want to get to where the horizon is, but it isn’t anywhere.”

Bastille’s last record might have despaired at the state of the world, but their new single, Quarter Past Midnight, chooses to escape from it instead – at least for the night. The lead single from the band’s forthcoming third album, the follow-up to 2016’s No. 1 album Wild World, is an escapist anthem, its break beats and drum fills loosely inspired by ‘90s dance music, its euphoric hook unmistakably Bastille.

“We keep on running, running through a red light, like we’re trying to burn the night away,” sings frontman Dan Smith in his distinctly British baritone on the song’s vivid, cinematic chorus. Says Smith of the song: “It’s just about trying to capture that Sliding Doors moment on a night out. Some people are gonna go home; for some this is just the beginning. It became about being in someone’s car, driving through the city, and I wanted to try and capture that sense of excitement, and that rush.” Recorded and self-produced in the band’s newly built studio – “an old porn studio that we turned into a place that could be ours” – which also houses Smith’s record label Best Laid Plans (Rag N’Bone Man, Rationale), the song’s nocturnal setting evokes the infinite possibilities that darkness brings. “It’s way easier to escape in the night time,” says Smith. “Places that aren’t normally open are open to the world, and the places that you associate with reality and work are all shut down. There’s a parallel universe that exists, and this other set of people who are out and about.”

With their hugely anticipated HI VIZ LP and national tour now only a few weeks away, The Presets just dropped a vivid new single and video, Downtown Shutdown. Like their recent triple j hits Do What You Want and 14U+14ME it’s another undeniable anthem but this time it’s a very different kind of party.

In some ways Downtown Shutdown is the long lost flip side to the Sydney duo’s protest classic, My People. Although both songs share similar lyrical themes, the new one replaces angular musical intensity with a sunny boogie down. It shakes off the shackles via raised hands instead of clenched fists.

“These lyrics had been bouncing around in my head for ages”, recalls Julian Hamilton. “I remember seeing footage of the Occupy Wall Street protests years ago and feeling inspired at how passionate humans can literally shut down a city. I always figured the words “Downtown Shutdown” would eventually be set to a more late-night, aggressive, banging Presets track like “My People” but fortunately Kim had the idea of taking it in pretty much the opposite direction.”

Hot off the back of the release of her single In Red, Adelaide artist HEN has continued to explore the song’s rich and fun themes on screen with the unveiling of the official music video. Turning the usually objectified images of women on screen on their head, director Emily McAllan presents a fun heist narrative that also depicts the real intimacies of two women in love.

Filmed out at The Manor Estate in Kangarilla and in Willunga, South Australia, the music video depicts the Woman in Red trope without the male gaze that so often, visual representations are formed through. Featuring Hen herself and Rhiannon Pulford, the In Red music video appears in contrast to the song itself, branching out and further exploring a different story while very much keeping the core theme of female empowerment in play.

“This song has so much life in it and I wanted the clip to reflect that. I also wanted it to be a real exploration of complex female characters.” Hen explains. “While the song itself details one ‘Woman in Red’ from a specific perspective, I wanted the clip to be broader so I chose to follow a different story than the words paint. In this clip, we see two badass women who are in love pulling off an elaborate heist. It was really important to me that this clip looked at real love and showed a female same sex couple in a realistic light.”

“I came out as Bi a few years ago after many years of pretending to myself. Those years of not accepting myself were awful, I wish I’d been able to see representation like this growing up! Maybe it would have helped me to be confident in my whole self a lot earlier. It feels amazing to be able to make something like this with a director like Emily who is also Queer and to be able to put something out there together that I feel is beautiful and positive.”

Snow Patrol premiere Empress, their second single from Wildness, the band’s first album in seven years. Snow Patrol also return to “Later… With Jools Holland” where they debut a live rendition of Empress, along with performances of Life On Earth, Heal Me, and Chasing Cars.

With their long-awaited second album Echoes In Blue out now, Melbourne’s City Calm Down are preparing to hit the road. I OH YOU is thrilled to unveil Pride – the brand new single and video from the four-piece.

“’Pride’ explores the feelings of lashing out at loved ones due to personal insecurities, pushing them away without explaining why,” says lead singer Jack Bourke.

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