This week in The Singles Bar #37, Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles features:

Sydney based singer-songwriter Odette ends the year with spellbinding new single A Place That I Don’t Know featuring fellow songstress, Gretta Ray – out today via EMI Music Australia.

A Place That I Don’t Know is the latest instalment from the gifted young artist, following singles Watch Me Read You, Take It To The Heart, Collide and Lights Out from critically acclaimed debut album To A Stranger. The standout track is a further display of Odette’s syncopated, soulful delivery that is harmonised beautifully by Gretta’s dulcet vocal.

On the track, Odette says “‘A Place That I Don’t Know’ is about being hurt and feeling isolated from your own home. I wrote this for me and Gretta to duet because her tone truly conveys the emotion I was trying to reach in this song. It’s about yearning for a love that’s let you down and trying to rebuild from something you didn’t even destroy.”

Following the release of her forthcoming third album’s first single, Between You & Me, pop singer/songwriter BETTY WHO returns with a music video for the acoustic-powered track.

In the video, Betty plays both characters who find themselves navigating a powerful attraction. Of the filming experience, Betty says: “The video was a trip to film because, while playing against myself, I basically have to film the video twice. I never know how it’s going to turn out because as we’re filming it seems so high-concept but when I saw the final product I was so shocked. I can’t believe how bad I wanted me to end up with myself!”

It is with infinite pleasure and Christmas cheer that we deliver Santa’s Comin’ Down The Chimney, a shining gift from Confidence Man for all the naughty (and nice) girls and boys out there.

A tall drink of enchanting dance music, Santa’s Comin’ Down The Chimney is the in-your-headphones escape from the mundane overcooked turkey dinner.

“It’s time to pop Bublé’s bubble. Throw Mariah in the fire. Christmas has a new sound and it just got a whole lot more confident. Christmas ain’t all eggnog and tinsel. Sometimes it gets a little dirty. Sometimes Santa skips the plate of cookies and goes straight for the whiskey. So unwrap yourself some sass and see what Santa’s really been up to. You’re welcome world.” – Janet Planet

Japanese metal juggernauts Crossfaith have shared a new music video for their track Destroy. The track, which is lifted from the group’s recently released album EX_MACHINA, features a cameo from Japanese industrial hip hoppers Ho99o9, and is a blistering and fast-paced track with an energetic live video to boot.

On the new video, lead singer Kenta Koie shares: “This was made from footage of our new series of tour called ‘NITROPOLIS’, which happened in late August with lots of unique artists like Ho99o9, Ocean Grove, ANARCHY and more. We don’t want to talk about genre anymore, but just see what’s happening on the floor. We made the bomb with Ho99o9! Rage it out!”

In what could be either the most confrontational or hilarious video of the year, Jack Ladder willingly endures intense but creative punishment from British model, musician and writer Alys Hale in Tell It Like It Is, the fourth video taken from the Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders album Blue Poles.

The video was directed and shot in glistening black and white by McLean Stephenson. An acclaimed and exhibited photographer, Stephenson has shot iconic album covers for DMAs, Sarah Blasko, DZ Deathrays & Jen Cloher as well as Ladder’s 2011 album HURTSVILLE. Ladder and Stephenson dissect the video and their long friendship in an interview with Alys Hale for RUSSH Magazine. Considering their long relationship, it’s surprising that this is their first finished video together. Their last attempt (for 2008’s The Barbers Son) never saw the light of day after the files were unintentionally wiped.

“For me the song has a violence to it”, says Ladder, when asked about the link between the video and the song’s bare depiction of a relationship unraveling. “Itʼs about wielding silence in a malevolent way. The idea of BDSM is a physical interpretation of that. There are sounds in the song that remind me of whips and the chord progression is kinda kinky”.

The pain and fear in the video as Ladder is singing is genuine. “Red wine burning my eyes. Real choking with a splitter bar. Alys hitting my face and walking on my head with perspex heels. I didnʼt know Alys very well so wasnʼt sure of what she would be capable of.”

Fresh from his last shows of 2018 in Europe, and winning Album of the Year at the New Zealand Music Awards, Marlon Williams has released a music video for Beautiful Dress from his acclaimed sophomore album Make Way For Love. Directed by Charlotte Evans (Aldous Harding, Tiny Ruins), the video features Marlon at home in his natural habitat.

Marlon says of the video that “nothing so heartbreaking as nothing. When I think about the people I love preparing a meal in their homes, doing the dishes, carrying out the bare minimum actions of survival, it makes me want to cry. This is an exploration of the mundane. It’s not even an exploration. It’s just someone hanging out. It’s nothing.”

Up and coming producer/multi-instrumentalist James Crooks is thrilled to reveal an infectious new single LaLaLa (feat. Dives) and announce his long-awaited debut EP Blame My Soul for release on 18 January, through Liberation Records.

Featuring the vocals of Sydney dreamboat Dives, LaLaLa is the perfect addition to your Summer road-trip playlist. Crooks’ production plays with layers of percussion and tropical feeling synths to create a glistening, feel-good track. Lyrically, the song is about something you know you shouldn’t do, doing it anyway and focusing only the positives.

“The chorus represents care-free message, as if someone was telling you to do something correctly but you don’t really see their point. LaLaLa represents a positive response to a negative with a little tongue and cheek.” – James Crooks

The World Of Underworld exploded as the band launched their perplexing Drift series – an epic year-long road trip by the band (Karl Hyde and Rick Smith) in collaboration with Tomato and friends old and new from playwrights to DJs in jazz and techno to painters and poets.

Kicking-off with their feet firmly in their world of live dance music, Another Silent Way is uniquely and unmistakably Underworld, all thunderous drums, relentless acid lines and cyclone vocals. This new recording is both a standalone digital release and the first in a series of weekly instalments of a new cross platform Underworld project – Drift.

Drift is an ongoing experiment that will regularly publish new Underworld material – music, film, stories, etc. The release of Drift Episode 1 sees Another Silent Way sound tracking a film made in collaboration with the UK drift racing community and Tomato and shot entirely at the Rockingham Speedway in Corby in the UK summer of 2018. Follow up Dexters Chalk is Episode 1, Part 2 of the Drift series. A collaboration with producer and DJ Ashley Burchett a.k.a. Ø [Phase], Dexters Chalk soundtracks a new film by Tomato’s Simon Taylor.

Slum Sociable are proud to reveal a striking new single Afterthought. It’s the third track to surface from the subversive Melbourne duo this year and falls just four weeks away from their headline show in Melbourne, dubbed as ‘The First Annual Slum Sociable Xmas Special’, which is set to take place at the Corner Hotel on 13 December.

Premiered on triple j Good Nights, Afterthought is an up-tempo summer heater and Slum Sociable’s most dance-ready tune to date. The band teamed up with one of their dream collaborators Kim Moyes of The Presets to bring the idea to life, while production duties were shared with Konstantin Kersting (Mallrat/The Jungle Giants). Afterthought focuses on Miller Upchurch’s renowned vocals, as they soar atop tight drum machines and chunky synthesizers. There’s playfulness to the sound but a feeling of melancholia embedded deep within the lyrics.

“The concept behind Afterthought is simple yet universal, we’ve all had moments where we wish we’d done things differently, and looking back on them can be frustrating. So I channelled my frustrations of not acting sooner into this song.” – Slum Sociable

David Gray today releases the video for his new single The Sapling, the lead track from forthcoming new album Gold In A Brass Age, due for release on March 8, 2019 via IHT Records / AWAL Recordings. Produced by Ben de Vries, son of producer and soundtrack composer Marius de Vries, Gold In A Brass Age – Gray’s first album of new material in four years – arrives just ahead of a run of Australian and UK tour dates.

Gray personally sought out Baltimore-based zoetrope artist Eric Dyer to create the kaleidoscopic clip which now accompanies The Sapling. The video nods towards the track’s rumination on the cyclical brevity of life and ecology with projected time lapse footage of germinating acorns, scaled-up to hypnotic effect.

Speaking about the video Gray says; “I came across Eric’s TEDx Talk, & some of the zoetropes he’d created looked incredible. There was a clinching moment when he referenced the origin of the word zoetrope from the Greek words zoe (life) and tropos (turn), hence – wheel of life. It was a perfect fit for ‘The Sapling’, and at that moment I just knew it just had to be. We sent some time lapse footage of an acorn growing over to Eric for him to do his thing and create a new animation with it. Our video director Rex had the idea that we could take the animations out into the woods somewhere and back project them onto a huge screen while I performed the song in front. The end result feels like a subtle harmony between the zoetropes & the song.”

Fueled By Ramen recording group ONE OK ROCK has announced the release of their hugely anticipated new album, EYE OF THE STORM, which is set for release on February 15, 2019.

ONE OK ROCK vocalist Taka commented on the new body of work: “For this album we challenged and pushed ourselves to try new things while still maintaining the essence of what our band is,” adding, “I believe you will hear some things you have never heard from ONE OK ROCK.”

EYE OF THE STORM is available for pre-order here with all pre-orders joined by an instant grat downloads of the album’s electrifying first single, Stand Out Fit In as well as the previously released single Change.

Comprised of vocalist Taka, guitarist Toru, drummer Tomoya, and bassist Ryota, ONE OK ROCK is among Japan’s most popular and beloved rock outfits, with each of their last five releases debuting in the nation’s Top 5. Known for their thrilling live shows, ONE OK ROCK recently wrapped a very special Japanese arena tour that saw then joined onstage by a full orchestra.

Grammy award winning artists Portugal. The Man have released a new remix package for their latest single Tidal Wave, including contributions from Sydney three-piece Mansionair and fresh Melbourne duo Le Sauvage as well as Ookay, Lucius and Sir Sly. You can stream the remix package here.

Le Sauvage dancefloor-ready reimagining of Tidal Wave follows on from their recent remix of Silk City’s (Diplo x Mark Ronson) track Only Can Get Better ft. Daniel Merriweather. Meanwhile, Mansionair lend their unique brand of lush production heard on recent singles Astronaut (Something About Your Love) and Falling.

Tidal Wave is the latest single to be lifted from the band’s eight studio album Woodstock which also featured Live in the Moment and the ARIA multi-platinum hit Feel It Still which placed at #26 on the triple j Hottest 100 of 2017. Australian audiences experienced Portugal. The Man’s critically acclaimed live show earlier this year when they took to the stage at Groovin the Moo festival as well as headline shows in major capital cities.

Rock / Metal Icons WITHIN TEMPTATIONS are back with a double helping of new music. Raise Your Banner and Mad World are taken from the highly anticipated new album Resist which will be released December 14, 2018. Raise Your Banner features In Flames frontman Anders Fridén.

The message of WITHIN TEMPTATION’S seventh studio album is clear: RESIST. Sharon: “It’s important to resist, because in today’s society people increasingly get oppressed by social subjection – a process fueled by authorities, dictators but also multi-nationals that manipulate and control. We have to break free in order to develop ourselves, especially when we are constantly being controlled and monitored by a higher power”.

Dashboard Confessional has shared an official music video for Just What To Say, which is featured on the band’s 2018 LP Crooked Shadows. The closing track of the album, Just What To Say is quiet and reflective, finding Chris Carrabba looking inward in a way that feels deeply relatable. The song is about admitting and accepting flaws, but it’s also about embracing the better aspects of your own humanity. The Ryan Hamblin directed video is streaming now on Fueled By Ramen’s official YouTube channel.

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