This week in The Singles Bar #44, Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles features:

Atlantic recording group Why Don’t We have released the music video for their latest track Big Plans.

The single arrives hot on the heels of their ARIA Top 10 debut album 8 Letters released in August 2018 during the band’s first visit to Australia, playing sold out shows in Sydney and Melbourne.The release is only the beginning for what is poised to be a massive year.

Amassing more than 600 million global audio streams, 3.6 million Instagram followers, and total YouTube views exceeding 250 million with over 2.4 million subscribers in under 2 years, Why Don’t We has become one of pop music’s biggest breakout stories. Taking an innovative approach towards releasing new music and actively engaging their rapidly growing fanbase, the prolific young group – the quintet ranges in age from 17-20 years old – have released 4 EPS and their debut album 8 Letters to date.

Ryan Adams has shared F*** The Rain – the lead single from Big Colors, which is the first of three albums he will release in 2019. Ryan Adams said, “Check out this song it’s cool. Or don’t – we all might die trump is president. I love you, sincerely Ryan Adams.”

upsidedownhead today reveals the clip for future loser (feat. E^ST) – the current single from his debut EP complex (out now). The animated video, from the mind of Sadland Studio’s Thom Rawle, follows a character that has been perfectly depicted from the lyrics of the track, showcased in a futuristic cityscape.

“future loser is about embracing who you are and who you are not, not being another number in the systems of this world that dictate our day to day.” – Ross James

Florence + the Machine debut two new songs, Moderation and Haunted House. Produced by James Ford, Moderation is another driving force of nature that sees Florence’s new-found confidence ride high when it comes to love and relationships.

In contrast, Moderation is backed by the more delicate Haunted House. Produced by Matthew Daniel Siskin (Gambles), it’s an open and exposing song that captures Florence’s more intimate vocal style.

Moderation and Haunted House marks the first new music from Florence + the Machine since their massively acclaimed 2018 album High as Hope, nominated for the Mercury Prize and named one of the best of the year.

Award-winning singer songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke returns to the spotlight this week with the rousing, uplifting single, Zero Gravity. Written by Kate with her collaborator Keir Nuttall as her song submission for SBS ‘Eurovision – Australia Decides 2019’, now as part of the official line-up of 10 competitors striving to represent Australia, she is thrilled to perform it live on the Gold Coast on February 8 and 9.

Kate explains, “Zero Gravity is a song about emerging from a depression. I went through a very low period after the birth of my son. The song tries to capture the feeling of coming back to life. I really wanted to write a song that seamlessly blends pop and opera in a non-cheesy way. It’s ultimately a very empowering and uplifting song to perform (as well as a very challenging one with its long high D flat! Why the hell did I put that in??!!)”

Following the critically acclaimed cuts Body and Head Alone, Julia Jacklin now shares Pressure To Party – the new single from her forthcoming album Crushing out next month through Liberation Records.

Premiered last night on triple j Good Nights, the full-tilt and harmony-spiked track finds Julia pushing for emotional freedom. “When you come out of a relationship, there’s so much pressure to act a certain way. First it’s like, ‘oh, you’ve gotta take some time for yourself…’ but then if you take too much time it’s, ‘you’ve gotta get back out there!’ This song is just my three-minute scream, saying I’m going to do what I need to do, when I need to do it.” – Julia Jacklin

The music video (directed by Julia and long-time visual collaborator Nick Mckk) was filmed in a familiar location and features Julia and her siblings, plus a guest appearance from Body Type. “I went back to the house we shot my first music video ‘Pool Party’ in, as it felt like a good visual book end for the last 3 years. We shot the video in one take. It took a few practice runs but we managed to get it done in about 4 hours. We all swam in the pool after. It was a really special day. I managed to get all of my siblings in the clip, and we hadn’t all been in the same room together for over 4 years. I also got one of my favourite bands ‘Body Type’ to wear all my old music video outfits and pretend to be my band.”

The rumours are true: The “rejected” electronic album that Stephen Malkmus has been telling everyone about will see the light of day on Friday 15th March, when it’s released on Matador Records / Remote Control Records. But new album Groove Denied is not a full-blown plunge into EDM or hiptronica. In fact, there aren’t any purely instrumental tracks on the album. Every song is precisely that: a song, featuring Malkmus staples like an artfully askew melody and an oblique lyric. Groove Denied is Stephen playing hooky from his customary way of going about things, jolting himself out of a comfy routine. As Malkmus commented recently in a recent video interview, “It’s kind of funny to mess with stuff you’re not supposed to mess with.”

The first taste of Stephen’s new groove can be sampled today, with the release of single Viktor Borgia, and its accompanying video starring Stephen alone in a dance club. The title playfully merges the name of the comedian-pianist and the ruthless dynasty of Italo-Spanish nobles. With its stately melody and the almost-English-accented vocal, the coordinates here are early Human League or even Men Without Hats. “Yes, I was thinking things like Pete Shelley’s ‘Homosapien’, the Human League, and DIY synth music circa 1982,” says Stephen, adding “and also about how in the New Wave Eighties, these suburban 18-and-over dance clubs were where all the freaks would meet – a sanctuary.”

In 2016 DMA’S covered Cher’s classic Believe for triple j Like A Version. The cover has gone on to become one of the most played while also claiming the #6 spot on the 2016 Hottest 100, the highest ever position for a Like A Version. After huge demand from fans, the recording was officially released in 2017, and it is with great pleasure that I OH YOU announce it has now achieved ARIA Gold status in Australia.

In further exciting news, DMA’S’ debut album Hills End has now achieved BRIT Certified Breakthrough status. The award is given to artists who have achieved 30,000 sales for one of their albums for the first time in the UK. The accolade reinforces the impact the band have had across the pond.

Jess Ribeiro today releases the brand new track Stranger premiered via Double J – out now via Barely Dressed / Remote Control Records.

Produced by Ben Edwards (Aldous Harding/Marlon Williams/Julia Jacklin) and recorded as a 3-piece with Dave Mudie (Courtney Barnett) and Jade Imagine, Stranger displays another shift in sound for the singer. Ribeiro has kissed the swampy humidity of the Australian Music Prize-nominated Kill It Yourself goodbye, and embraced the precise down-strokes and valve-amp hum of a very New York lineage, from the Velvets through to Blondie and Talking Heads. It’s capped by those lethally cool vocals for which Ribeiro is revered.

In Stranger Ribeiro’s voice travels as a narcotic purr; as she explores infatuation and all the daydreaming that comes alongside it. Ribeiro references the 19th-century French writer Stendhal and his recognition that “this is a love that lives only through the imagination”.

Having ended 2018 on a high note with the announcement of her fourth solo album On The Line – to be released March 22nd on Warner Bros. Records – Jenny Lewis has now unleashed the first taste of her highly anticipated return with the first single, Red Bull & Hennessy, now available as an instant grat via pre-order and on all digital/streaming platforms.

As the excitement surrounding the release of On The Line ramps up, the album continues to snag top spots on Most Anticipated Albums of 2019 lists. Recorded at Capitol Records’ Studio B, On The Line boasts a backing band of incredible talent featuring Beck, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr and Ryan Adams.

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