This week in The Singles Bar #46, Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles features:

Troubadour Thomas Keating has announced his introverted new single Today I’m Staying Home, a comforting ode to self-care during times of stress and uncertainty.

As vulnerable and open as a diary entry, Today I’m Staying Home is musically reminiscent of Matt Corby’s acoustic textures, or even Vance Joy’s vivid lyrical imagery – yet Thomas still manages to craft a world that’s completely his own. Gentle guitar pulses atop a bed of driving percussion, as Thomas’ one-of-a-kind vocals take centrestage. Thrilled to be releasing this special track, Thomas explains the inspiration behind the track, “Today I’m Staying Home is inspired by one of those mornings where you wake up with the ‘f*ck its’, and you decide instead of leaving your bed or home to face your life and all the responsibilities that come with being an adult in this world, you just stay in. I’ve always struggled with bouts of depression and anxiety around the uncertainties and pressures of everyday life, and I guess at the time I wrote the song I was going through such a phase. I think it’s important to remember that at times it’s okay just to feel like shit – it’s okay to put your hand up and say ‘I’m not dealing with this very well. I need help’. Mental health is extremely self-alienating, and I’d like to think that we are moving past the stigma of shame that has hung around such ailments for far too long.”

Hands Like Houses are riding high into 2019, today unveiling the exhilarating new video for their latest single Sick.

A collective band and fan favourite, Sick is a middle finger up to anyone who has taken advantage of you. This huge summer anthem has amassed over 712,000 streams since the album was released, filled with big riffs, a rousing chorus and tones reminiscent of 90s rock. Filmed in the Californian desert, the video follows the band cruising around the Mojave in an old convertible, capturing a wild and carefree energy intersected with moments of restlessness and intensity. Frontman Trenton Smith deconstructs the message, explaining “I think everyone knows the feeling of being taken advantage of – especially when you put yourself out for someone to have them want more. Sometimes you can walk away, and other times you just have to take it in your stride because you’re focused on something bigger. Entitlement is bullshit but that’s when you have to remember, with a wry grin, that other people don’t control you.”

Lost comes in the wake of an outpouring of critical acclaim in the 2019 tips lists, with the BBC including Dermot Kennedy in their ‘Sound of 2019’ shortlist, being crowned ‘Best New Artist’ via a public vote by NPR Slingshot and tipped as a key artist to watch in 2019 by YouTube Music, MTV and Ticketmaster. Dermot dropped the video for fan-favourite ‘For Island Fires and Family’ at the start of January and with ‘Lost’ is now building up to his biggest headline show to date at a sold-out O2 Academy Brixton on May 8th.

Lost taps into the raw talent and deft touch Dermot possesses of pulling at the listeners heart strings whilst always sounding genuine and sincere; of the track Dermot says “Lost is a song I wrote about resilience and reliance. Bad things can happen and when they do, when you’re tested, you’re going to need the love and the shelter of certain people to hold you up and guide you through whatever storm you find yourself in. It’s about holding each other up through bad times.”

Teaming up with the stunning Samantha Jade, break-out Gold Coast trio Sunset City are set to release their feel good summer single Forget It All on Central Station Records. Dubbed as Australia’s answer to Maroon 5, the trio know how to keep it classy. With their unique blend of pop, funk and electronic, Sunset City are quickly becoming known for their infectious energy, and talent for delivering charismatic records time and time again.

On the record coming together, Parker explains, “We wanted it to be really light lyrically and just fun all round. We are so excited to have Samantha on this record – her vocals were a perfect fit to match the carefree vibe of the track.”

Set It Off have dropped their video for Dancing With the Devil. The band’s diehard fanbase voted on which song the band should make a video for and Dancing With the Devil was their top choice.

The video showcases the theme of the song that ‘life’s too short to be dancing with the devil’ and the band totally deliver. Their catchy pop vibes and heavy undertone makes it no wonder their recent album hit 1 million streams within 48 hours of release!

Meg Mac is thrilled to unveil new single, Something Tells Me. Written with Grammy nominated Melbourne songwriter Sarah Aarons and produced by ARIA and Grammy Award winner M-Phazes, it is the second single from Meg’s forthcoming mini album.

Meg explains, “Something Tells Me is about trying not to listen to the people around you but working out what you really want to do. I’ve made so many decisions and choices based on what other people tell me I should or shouldn’t do. This song is about not doing that anymore.”

Vera Blue is thrilled to release her brand-new single Like I Remember You. The very special single release and accompanying video will be used to bring awareness to Greenpeace’s ‘People vs Oil’ campaign; a plight to bring focus on protecting the pristine waters of the Southern Ocean.

Teaming up with good friend Julia Stone, the duo penned Like I Remember You with Andy and Thom Mak at Forbes Street Studio in Sydney. Julia added backing vocals while Andy also produced the defined track.

Vera Blue says, “Like I Remember You’ happened organically in a writing session with Julia Stone, Andy & Thom Mak. Once the song was finished and we started working on this collaboration with Greenpeace it seemed like the perfect fit.”

In exciting news, The Teskey Brothers kick off 2019 with the incredibly funky, hook laden new single Right For Me, a fan-favourite from the band’s renowned live set and previously unreleased until now. As a treat to fans, the band has also released a B-Side ‘Baby Blue’ to accompany the single’s release. Both tracks are available now digitally and on limited edition 7” vinyl.

Lead singer Josh Teskey says about Right For Me,
“It’s basically a song about being smitten for someone more than you should, considering you don’t know them very well. It’s sort of a love-at-first-sight feeling. Or the feeling you’ve had a spell cast on you, or a love potion. Or the feeling you’ve been hit by one of cupid’s arrows. Or all those metaphors put together. I guess it’s a subject lots of people have felt and written about over the years (‘Black Magic Woman’, ‘I Put A Spell On You’, ‘You Must Have Put Your Whammy On Me’). We’ve all had that feeling of being hooked on someone you don’t really know that well, but you fantasise that they’re just (Right For Me).”

Art of Fighting, one of the most revered and acclaimed Australian bands of the 00s, have returned with their first new music in twelve years. Premiered on Double J’s Mornings with Zan Rowe, their new single Genie is released today via Remote Control Records and is accompanied by a video directed by acclaimed Sydney photographer Mclean Stephenson (Sarah Blasko, Jen Cloher, Jack Ladder, DMA’s) as premiered via RUSSH.

Ocean Grove have today opened a new chapter with the release of the audiovisual delight that is Ask For The Anthem. The collective have also revealed Twiggy Hunter as their new bass player, with Dale Tanner becoming full-time frontman of the group. The track had its world premiere on triple j’s Good Nights earlier this week.

The video, directed and edited by the band’s longtime collaborator Thomas Elliott, features Ocean Grove at their quirky and creative best. “We pushed our own limits of experimentation on this track,” says Dale. “It is by far the most time and energy we have invested into any one song. Just so you know, this is not a song about being cool and getting the girl. Look closer.”

The Pinheads kicked of their national tour this weekend, Brisbane, Byron and Gold Coast fans getting their fill of all things Pin!

Their new single Innocent Crime, the leisurelier paced, trance-inducing follow up to the steadfast, shady, beguiling slice of pop perfection of its predecessor, Not Like You, now has a film clip, made once again by the band and drummer / filmmaker James Kates.

Don’t let the laid back sonics fool you, Innocent Crime is a tale of the anger and dissatisfaction surrounding our repressive reality, written from the heartland of Australia’s unabashed Nanny State, we lookin’ at you NSW! A call to arms to all those on the fringes, to rise up and spit in the face of leaderless leadership and find a better way…’us the little people, they put holes in our heads, were gonna fill em with hope and let it spread. Us the little people with hope in our heads, are gonna spit it right back at the living dead.’

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