This week in The Singles Bar #43, Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles features:

Modern pop’s patron saint Washington has today revealed her new single American Spirit paired with a lyric video.

Haunted in tone, American Spirit features sweeping orchestration and provides centre stage for Washington’s velvety smooth vocals.

“Following the election, I thought of America as a character, almost a willing victim, doing anything for fame. Running towards the burning building. The image of Peg Entwistle, the actress who died when she jumped from the ‘H’ in the Hollywood sign was on my mind. As was Stormy Daniels, the dark side of the American dream. There’s something magnetic, sinister and glamorous about these scenes I wanted to capture,” says Washington of the single.

*Warning* the below content may induce a severe case of nightlife envy..

Fascinator has returned for the southern summer to perform east coast shows this January and February. In a salute to his adopted home, Fascinator reveals the funk-filled video Your Money, It’s Ugly filmed at Kinamn Lounge in Brooklyn at one of DJ Cuttin’ Loose Bruce’s many infamous parties. The video features his niece and long-time Fascinator collaborator Kai Pai.

“DJ Cuttin’ Loose Bruce has been throwing parties in Brooklyn and Queens for decades with Kai Pai’s family,” says Fascinator. “We partied with them for a few weeks and realised it’s one of the best dance parties in New York – amazing old school house with a live MC and all kinds of characters.”

As It Is have wasted no time kicking off 2019 with the release of their new music video for The Fire, The Dark. The video shows footage from the band’s recent headlining UK/EU Tour and is a special “welcome” to Guitarist Ron Ish, who this week has been announced as an official member of As It Is. He shared “Collectively, the team is the strongest it’s ever been and we’re all excited for our future together. The amount of love and support from fans all over the world has been incredible thus far and finally being able to announce my permanency with As It Is and say it out loud feels good. Thanks for having me. Got love.”

Yorta Yorta artist DRMNGNOW returns to release third single in past twelve months with the evocative Ancestors to be released Jan 21st , just prior to Survival day on January 26th.

The track is a melodic heartfelt hip hop ode to the connection of Indigenous peoples to ancestral connection and how that can provide a bigger message for all. Layered over a soulful trap tinged beat from River Boy (Narayana Johnson of Willow Beats), the lyricism delves into subject matter around indigenous rights and culture which DRMNGNOW has become known for with his intricately woven poetic story telling. The track also features the haunting vocals of talented rising talent Kee’ahn.

“Ancestors is an offering of medicine in a time of social and political disharmony. It is a call to the public at large within modern Australia to take heed to the reverence that Indigenous peoples have and have always had in the past 60,000 plus years.
It is a call to take notice of that example in these particularly fraught political times we are in where a sense of cohesion and leadership seem to be lacking in broader society heading into 2019.

It is a reminder that indigenous peoples are driven by a responsibility that dates back into time immemorial. A responsibility that can lead to so much healing for this land and society living upon it ”

Mabel has today announced details of anthemic new single Don’t Call Me Up, which is available now on Polydor Records and arrives hot on the heels of her nomination for British Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards 2019 . This follows an extraordinary twelve months which saw the 22-year-old sell over 2 million singles in the UK alone, surpass half a billion streams, and cap December’s UK tour with a massive sold-out show at London’s Brixton Academy (complete with pyrotechnics, dancers, and guest appearances from Mabel’s collaborators Not3s and Kojo Funds).

Don’t Call Me Up is the sound of an increasingly-fearless young artist answering the call for Britain’s next great pop export. Co-written by Mabel alongside Steve Mac plus Kamille Purcell, Don’t Call Me Up takes Mabel’s lifelong love for empowered, role-reversal R&B into a thrilling new space. Here is a breakup song which zooms in on strength over sadness, with the spirit of irrepressible sisterhood aptly captured in the Don’t Call Me Up video. Don’t Call Me Up is also the mark of a young woman who knows herself – warts-and-all – better than ever…and better than anyone else.

Sweden’s fastest-rising new musical export LOVA shares a new single entitled My Name Isn’t. The 20-year-old pop singer and songwriter pulls no punches with this empowering female declaration of independence. Over a backdrop of hand claps, echoing guitars, organic percussion, and warbled samples, she announces, “My name isn’t ‘Baby,’ you cannot say whatever you feel like…I am not the things you call me.”

Within this catchy chant, she encodes an empowering message and a call-to-arms. LOVA comments, “It’s nothing new that we women are tired—tired of living in the background of men, tired of having to raise our voices to be heard, tired of feeling afraid late at night, and tired of always adjusting for men who cannot keep their hands and mouths under control.”

Newly formed Canadian rock/metal act, Imonolith have just released their eagerly anticipated debut single, Hollow! Featuring members of the Devin Townsend Project, Strapping Young Lad, Fear Factory, Threat Signal, Methods Of Mayhem and more, Imonolith’s musical pedigree is highly impressive, but they won’t just be relying on that to get their message across!

RVP says of Imonolith coming together: “‘Hollow’ is a song about the personal battles we all can face internally. Social pressures and self expectation can drive you to a point of feeling hollow inside if you don’t meet specific standards in your mind. The song itself actually has a positive message built into it. It’s not about feeling hollow, it’s more about preventing that hollow feeling that any one of us can develop through negative thinking and limited beliefs”. Hollow serves great introduction to IMONOLITH, however fans can expect many surprises as they unveil more music.

Iconic Yeah Yeah Yeahs front-woman Karen O and legendary musician-producer Danger Mouse have today announced their forthcoming collaborative album Lux Prima and debuted their new single Woman.

“Woman came like a bolt out of the blue in the studio and my voice was the lighting rod it struck,” says O. “One of those songs that wrote itself out of the ether and an increasingly volatile political environment. Songs I write are for everyone, but this one felt especially for the inner child in me that needed the bullies out there to know you don’t fuck with me. I’m a woman now and I’ll protect that inner girl from hell or high water.”

The two originally met to discuss a collaboration in 2007 as mutual admirers, but careers and lives got in the way. In 2015, they got serious and made a plan while O was pregnant with her son. After his birth, they entered the studio with no sonic parameters and a handful of references – Lux Prima was born.

New Zealand sensation Drax Project celebrates the New Year by teaming up with multiplatinum-selling artist and Academy® Award-nominated actress Hailee Steinfeld for a fresh take on the infectious pop anthem Woke Up Late. The track pairs smooth pop vocals, an irresistible beat and unapologetically candid lyrics detailing a night out / morning in. With the addition of Hailee’s vocals, the collaboration exudes a contagious, bouncy energy that’s sure to be on repeat on your playlist.

“”Woke Up Late” is about wrapping your head around the adventure of the night before and ultimately deciding that you’re cool with it. Given the nature of this story, it did cross our minds while writing it as to how it might work as a duet – with a female voice telling her side. We’re all huge big fans of “Starving” and “Let Me Go,” so were beyond stoked to get Hailee on the song! She absolutely kills it in movies and in music. We feel like having her vocals take both the sonics and the feel of the song to another level!” – Drax Project​​​​​​​

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