This week in The Singles Bar #31, Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles features:

Richard Ayoade, the BAFTA-nominated film director (Submarine, The Double), actor (IT Crowd, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace), TV presenter (Travel Man, The Crystal Maze) and comedian, has been a long-time fan of The Breeders. As a young teen in 1990, Ayoade recalls travelling from his Ipswich home to London to buy the band’s first album Pod. Today, nearly 30 years after making that journey, he has teamed up with his favourite band to create an eerie short story for their latest single, Spacewoman.

Described by The Breeders’ Kim Deal as “a sci-fi thriller with the soul of [deceased New Wave fiction writer] Harlan Ellison,” Ayoade’s visual treatment depicts Deal in a spacesuit navigating a woodland landscape. Shot on 35mm film and in one seamless take, she encounters fellow Breeders members Jim Macpherson, Josephine Wiggs and Kelley Deal in various states of trauma.

On the heels of a massive debut that saw Avril Lavigne’s newest song Head Above Water reaching #1 on iTunes in 18 countries, the singer has unveiled the song’s official music video. The stunning video shot between Iceland and Los Angeles was filmed by renowned music video, film and television director Elliott Lester. Head Above Water marks the first new music from Avril in five years and details the personal side of her journey through a life-changing battle with Lyme Disease. Head Above Water was written by Avril Lavigne, Travis Clark and Stephan Moccio and produced by Stephan Moccio.

Accompanying the release of Head Above Water is a charitable campaign from The Avril Lavigne Foundation, raising funds to provide direct treatment for individuals impacted by Lyme who otherwise couldn’t afford it. To join the fight against Lyme, get your #HeadAboveWater charitable t-shirt HERE.

John Butler Trio’s new album HOME looks to be the Western Australian singer/ songwriter’s seventh hit record, seeing off stiff competition and sitting comfortably high on the itunes charts just several hours after release.

To celebrate HOME’s release, John Butler has released a video for the album track Tell Me Why, completing a quadrilogy of videos from the album including the first single Home, the current single Just Call and fan favourite Wade In the Water.

The Future of History is the fifth film clip from Tropical Fu*k Storm’s debut album A Laughing Death In Meat Space.

Another low budget, high art, masterclass in dystopic portension masterminded by Chris Matthews of Defero Productions.

Witness protagonist Gary Kasparov’s historic 1997 chess confrontation with IBM Supercomputer Deep Blue. The stakes are high. Kasparov is thrust head long through the aeons into the unavoidable hell of 2020. There he faces the repercussions of his frankly lackadaisical efforts in the subjugation of IBM’s glorified calculator. Can he absolve himself of this blunder? Or is the future of history itself at stake?

The Living End have released their eighth studio album Wunderbar. Recorded over a six week period in Berlin during an inspired recording session with producer Tobias Kuhn, the album contains eleven blistering tracks the band are extremely proud of. There’s a contagious new energy around these songs and The Living End.. and you can feel it. Wunderbar is a portrait of the band as they are in 2018: fiercely proficient, proudly rebellious, and emotionally resonant.

The first taste of Wunderbar came in the form of electric single Don’t Lose It. The accompanying video featured an all-star cast of Australian musicians and media personalities. Next we heard the raw and stripped album cut Amsterdam which adds a different colour/ texture to the album and stands out immediately. The Living End have dropped a new single and video for the anthemic Otherside. Front man Chris Cheney explains the song further..

“The guitar riff was something we kicked around in Melbourne but the bulk of the song was written in Berlin. Once we wrote the chorus It was immediately a standout track on the record. The message of Otherside is simple, the grass isn’t greener. Walk your own path, don’t compare and don’t waste precious time wishing you had more.”

As they wrap up a massive run of shows supporting Vance Joy around Australia, Cub Sport return with their electrifying new single Sometimes, the first to be taken from their forthcoming third album, out early next year.

Sometimes is an upbeat, pop anthem bursting with a confident new energy from the Brisbane 4-piece. This high-impact, emotional pop banger is a fearless step forward for the group while still capturing the uniquely vulnerable writing and vocal delivery that saw the group reach new heights on their 2017 album BATS – a deeply personal record chronicling Tim’s journey of coming out and admitting his love for fellow band member Sam Netterfield.

Howling will be Trey Cooper`s third song of 2018. His new single Howling frames Trey as a quick learner; a newcomer who is confident enough to offer up this magnificent beast of a pop song. Howling is shiny and bright but with a dark heart, a mournful gothic love song masquerading as blue eyed pop. Fingers crossed. Trey decided that the video clip for Howling should be a live studio performance of the song with his full band. He says that this stripped back version nicely offsets the high sugar content of the radio single. As we said, quick learner.

The Wombats have released a kaleidoscopic video for their new single Bee-Sting, which premiered via Billboard.

The Wombats will also release an extended version of their latest album, Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, on November 9 via AWAL Recordings. The album, which reached #5 on the ARIA Album Chart and #2 on the Australian iTunes Album Chart, has already been streamed over 100 million times on Spotify. The extended version adds three new bonus tracks, Bee-Sting being one of them.

The band have already celebrated a massive year; selling out a headline U.S. tour, supporting Weezer and The Pixies, playing massive festival slots at Lollapalooza, Reading and Leeds and Splendour in the Grass, as well as a sold-out hometown show at London’s Alexandra Palace. The band will return to Australia this November, following their sold-out Australian tour in July.

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