December 2009: Die! Die! Die!, DJ CXL, Dukes, Erakah, Ermehn, Family Cactus, Gareth Thomas

Falling from trees, the smooth love, down at the beach, the successful diva, a protective posse, the mysterious indie adventure, and the more famous Gareths.

Die! Die! Die! “HowYe”

There’s something really enjoyable about every part of this video. It starts with scenes of picturesque parks (played by Cornwall Park and Point Erin Park). As a figure lies on the ground beneath the tree, other people jump out of the tree with the shot cutting just before they hit the ground. And when that threatens to get chaotic, some animation takes over, a colourful mix of clipart symbols. And then – because why not – a proper dancer does some proper dancing, a pleasing mix of sassy and elegant.  It feels like there’s been so much creative freedom given to this video, and it all works.

Director: Special Problems
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

DJ CXL featuring J Williams & Patriarch “My Love”

This is so Illegal Musik. The song is produced by DJCXL of Ill Semantics, with rap from his bandmate Patriarch and R&B vocals from world-famous-in-New-Zealand J Williams. The song is a smooth love song, and ode to a girl, but for the first three and a half minutes, the video just shows the three men in a recording studio. It’s not until the last minute that J turns up at a scenic waterfront location to canoodle with his sweetie. In a way, though, I’d be more impressed by a love song about the joy of spending all day locked inside a recording studio with your mates.

Director: Damien Caine
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Dukes “Self Control”

Dukes return with “Self Control”, which also marks the first appearance of keyboard player Lauren, aka LA Mitchell. The video is shot at scenic locations around the band’s hometown of Christchurch (and a random shot of the Parnell Baths) and uses tilt-shift photography to create the illusion of Dukes in miniature. It manages to come across as a little gimmicky, but that might just be the fading appeal of tilt-shift in the years since the video was made.

Director: James Solomon

Erakah “Hold You Near”

The “Hold You Near” video sets up Erakah as a successful R&B singer, with the opening shot of her 2010 Pacific Music Award for Best Pacific Female Artist Award (she won the same prize again in 2015) and the slightly less prestigious 2010 Flava Award for Best Female Artist. The video shows her relaxing at home (surrounded by music instruments, writing down lyrics, taking delivery of her debut CD) and performing with the men of Illegal Musik. For a simple R&B love song, the video goes to a lot of effort to pack in a lot of symbols about Erakah.

Director: Mark Arona

Ermehn featuring PNC & Paul Bob “Stare & Whisper”

“Stare & Whisper” is Ermehn’s examination of his haters, the people who talk about Ermehn behind his back. The video is set at a nightclub, with Ermehn working the door where a succession of South Auckland music icons like Dei Hamo and Tha Feelstyle arrive, along with guest vocalists PNC and Paul Bob. So the message is clear, haters: Ermehn has a posse.

Director: Faanati Mamea

Family Cactus “Coal Town”

Family Cactus is a folky, indie supergroup of sorts, so it comes as no surprise that the “Coal Town” video was based on a Murakami novel. Oh, I got ur stereotypes right here, baby. The video follows two girls, who look like tween models. Hand in hand, they run off into the woods, guided by mysterious flickering lights. And that’s it. I feel genetically predisposed to not being able to enjoy videos like this, but the bleak rural Wairarapa landscape has its appeal.

Director: Bryson Rooney

Gareth Thomas “Google Song”

“Google Song” is a sweet folky tune wherein Gareth Thomas does a vanity google and discovers all these other interesting Gareth Thomases, but he doesn’t envy them because only he has his special sweetie. The video is based on Gareth typing the song lyric into a laptop, while waiting at a train station for some reason.

But the elephant in the room about googling other Gareth Thomases is the two greatest search results:

1. The Welsh actor who played Blake in Blake’s 7. Here’s a video that attempts to create sexual tension between Blake and Avon, set to “Hurricane” by CHVRCHES.

2. The Welsh rugby player, who was at one stage the most capped Welsh rugby union player, and in 2010 was voted the most influential gay person in the UK. Here’s a video of him on Celebrity Big Brother, scooting around a bathtub while singing Rihanna.

Or you can watch Gareth from Goodshirt intensely typing on his laptop at a train station.

Director: Joe Lonie

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