Coloured squares, postcards from Aotearoa, singing in the rain, cruising around Melbo, a lyrical video, and a music box adventure.
Like You Crazy “Touch Me”
It’s 2009 and everything is stylish synth-pop. The “Touch Me” video puts Like You Crazy in a white studio, wearing black and white clothes, while a women who is also dressed (mostly) in black and white pouts and poses. But it’s not all monochrome. The video also delivers Warhol-inspired coloured squares, showing the girl and the band against coloured backgrounds. The video isn’t as thrilling as the song, which has been happening a lot with synth-pop tracks of this era. It’s easier to record a sexy, sophisticated synth-pop song, but it’s a lot harder to make a sexy, sophisticated video on a budget.
Director: Haimona Ngata
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Minuit, who had been making clever synth-pop and cool videos for years, have their ode to New Zealand, “Aotearoa”. And blessedly they avoid the massive cliche of using South Island mountains, lakes and rivers. Instead the video focuses on the people, starting with archival photos and video of New Zealand, and ending with photos of fans send in to show “who they are as New Zealanders”. There are, of course, a lot of outdoorsy shots, many beaches. It feels like a fully realised music video, and says a lot more about New Zealand than an aerial shot of South Island alluvial plains ever would.
Director: Paul Dodge
This song doesn’t do anything for me, but my instinct was that it would be exactly the sort of song that some people would love, with declarations of how New Zealand music is the best music in the world. YouTube comments confirm this, especially this comment: “Love this song, even more so now that the whole “you’re my home” and not “my hoe” thing is cleared up.”
It’s a sweet tune full of hope, and the video keeps it simple. The members of Motocade take turns at lipsyncing the song, and that’s cut together with various shots of the world at large. It’s shot well, it follows the emotion of the song, and it’s hitting the right kind of emotional cues that inspire YouTube comments.
Director: Martha Jeffries
One-Two “Feels Good”
“Feels Good” was the only funding that One-Two had, and I can’t find out anything about them, thanks to their almost ungoogleable name. From the start, their video has a strong this is not New Zealand feeling, and soon its location becomes apparent: Melbourne. It all points to One-Two being based in Melbourne. But the video shot like an Auckland video, not bragging about the overseas location, but trying to polish the hometown into being fancier than it really is.
Over the Atlantic “Drama”
Over the Atlantic has the post-punk “Drama”. The video uses a lot of stop-motion animation, largely based around showing the song lyrics. And oddly enough, it’s the sort of concept that would easily be used as a modern lyric video, a placeholder until the proper video is released. (Though these days, some lyric videos are even fancier than this sort of concept, like Demi and DNCE.) It’s a cute, fun video, and it’s always enjoyable watching the different objects used to create the stop-motion lyrics.
Director: Richard Lord
Rhian Sheehan “Standing in Silence: Part 3”
“Standing in Silence: Part 3” is an animated video that begins inside a music box, with the dots on the barrel perfectly twanging the metal prongs in time with the music. We soon discover that the music box is being played by a cute goblin child out in the idyllic wilderness. The camera swirls around her, gradually moving further away. Eventually it comes to the big bad city, looking empty and abandoned. The music is an instrumental track, that ebbs and flows with emotion, and the video goes along with that.