December 2009: Artisan Guns, Avalanche City, Boh Runga & Che Fu, Chazz Valentine, Clap Clap Riot, Collapsing Cities, Connan Mockasin

The duck caper, penguins big adventure, coming together, punk love, felt-tip explosions, rooftop delights, and a lemon head.

Artisan Guns “Into The Cold”

Artisan Guns return with their deadpan charms, this time in a pine plantation. The four are dressed in nice suits but with no shoes, and soon find themselves entwined in white bunting, picking up a cricket bat and a giant rubber ducky along the way. They run through the pines, all the way into the sea. It’s a beautifully shot video – especially the closing scene of the reflecting wet beach at sunset.

Director: Matthew Hope

Avalanche City “Love Love Love”

“Love Love Love” was released as a free download in October 2010, but didn’t chart until March 2011, after it was used in a TV2 station promo. The music video is utterly adorable. It follows a couple of penguins who jump in a sailboat and have adventures at sea. Tension comes from an encounter with pirates who push the boy penguin overboard and kidnap the girl penguin. Even though the video uses a simple storybook style of animation, it’s surprisingly moving and is a perfect accompaniment to the No.1 single.

Director: Josh Smith

Boh Runga & Che Fu “Come Together”

Cover versions of songs originally by overseas artists generally aren’t considered cool in New Zealand music, but the one exception is charity singles. Here Boh Runga and Che Fu cover the Beatles’ “Come Together” in aid of the Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre. The video is just the duo goofing around in York Street Studios, while Karl From Supergroove produces. It doesn’t feel like anything is being added – just a group of friend who have recorded a faithful version of a favourite tune.

Director: Dean Cornish

Chazz Valentine “The Brightest Star”

Chazz from The Rabble went solo, and like his name suggests, Chazz Valentine is all about the love. “The Brightest Star” is an upbeat love song, like the sort of thing Rancid were doing. The video puts Chazz and his band in a skate bowl, while BMX riders cruise around them. But just in case that was too dudecentric, there’s also footage of Chazz and his bae biking around Auckland.

Director: Ivan Slavov, Daniel Strang

Clap Clap Riot “So You Say”

Clap Clap Riot’s gradually building “So You Say” involves black and white footage of the band, enhanced with hand-drawn animations. Sometimes it resembles (and predates) Disclosure’s face squiggle, other time it’s more like the felt-tip explosions of The Mint Chicks. It’s a cool, energetic experience.

Director: Johnny Lyon

Collapsing Cities “Favours For Favours”

Tim van Dammen pulls double duty as the video’s director and the band’s drummer. “Favours For Favours” puts him and his band on the roof at 161 Karangahape Road, one of the few K Road Victorian-era buildings to have a flat roof. The video is a single-take effort, with the camera swirling around the band as they perform the song in front of a glorious sunset and the glowing lights of central Auckland.

Director: Tim van Dammen

Connan Mockasin “It’s Choade My Dear”

I still don’t get Connan Mockasin, ok? The best things about this video are the swampy lagoon with lemons floating in it, the rat, and the sideways shots, which will annoy people who dislike portrait-shot video.

Director: Sam Handley

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