Pixel by pixel, emo melancholia, the speakeasy, backwards and forwards, not much bothered with humans, the day’s headlines.
The Pink Pound Experience “Easy Come, Easy Go”
Here’s a band with a name that’s much more interesting than the band itself. It makes me wish there was a band dedicated to the premise of gay British people having higher than average discretionary spending power. Instead we have a New Zealand electropop group, delivering a really average song. The video shows the band playing through grotesque grainy digital effects, as if they’re being pulled apart by the pixel. It’s really becoming a trope for electropop songs – the band presented as if they’re in some sort of Tron-like universe. So at this stage, I’d be more impressed by a video that did something different.
Director: Tim van Dammen
These Four Walls “Love Song”
I’ve come to have so much affection for These Four Walls, as they’ve grown and improved. Yay, guys. “Love Song” is a melancholic looking at the remnants of a broken relationship, so the video has plenty of frowns and black clothes. The band perform their song in a faux forest studio set, while petals fall down. We also see a young woman who is having a lot of trouble writing something in a notebook. Both the song and video have a hopeful ending – the troublesome relationship may be over, but there’s time to move on to something new and/or dancing amongst the petals.
Director: Anthony Plant
Three Houses Down “Oh It’s Good”
It always intrigued me that Three Houses Down had a name that was just one synonym away from 3 Doors Down, but the two bands couldn’t be less alike. THD bring breezy Aotearoa reggae, and the “Oh It’s Good” video is a colourful animated job. It follows a couple who are going to a basement speakeasy. It takes them over one minute of walking through twisting corridors to get there, and there’s even more faffing about when they get to the bar itself. A band is hastily put together and the guy joins them for a singalong. The video ends up looking like the opening titles for a kids cartoon, but then “Oh It’s Good” has the simple positive message of a children’s song.
Director: Greg Buckley, Nigel Ward
TK Paradza featuring Deach “Mr Liar”
I like a good backwards video, but “Mr Liar” doesn’t really add much to it. In the video, TK Paradza – who would later go on to be part of radio station boyband Titanium – hangs out around Wellington’s bar scene on Blair Street. I get what they’re trying to do – tell a story, then tell it in reverse to add more layers – but it doesn’t quite work. (For a successful version of this idea, see Måns Zelmerlöw’s “Should’ve Gone Home”). Instead “Mr Liar” is focused too much on Blair Street goings-on and not enough on the core story of the video and showing why the viewer should be involved in it.
Director: Darwin Go
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Tokyo Street Gang “She Said” – missing
I’m pretty sure that there’s no “She Said” video, but I’m still including it here because it’s on all the list I’m working with, including NZ On Air’s list of completed videos. But yet I can’t even find evidence of a released song called “She Said”, let alone its video.
Trei & State of Mind “Thunderbiscuit”
Guys, according to the YouTube description, this is an “all-star collaboration between two of New Zealand’s biggest DnB names”. The video to this almighty collaboration takes a form of a pin board of photos, with grainy video footage and a countdown clock that seems to be running in real time. “Thunderbiscuit” is instrumental, and the video isn’t much bothered with humans. But it creates an edgy drum and bass world, where it feels like everything is just on the verge of falling apart.
Director: Brendon Davies-Patrick
Young Sid featuring Kayo “Never Waste a Day”
“Never Waste a Day” is Young Sid’s wake-up call following the death of his mother to cancer. Like Kelly Clarkson, he’s taken inspiration from Nietzsche’s famous quote and is determined to make the most of his life. Kayo’s sung chorus adds a softer touch to the song, strengthening Young Sid’s transformation from an angry young man to a positive role model. He performs the song in a room lined with newspaper, with bold headlines recapping his career highlights. The song itself doesn’t quite feel like the big hit it was trying to be, but with Young Sid being so person and open, it doesn’t need to be.
Director: Andy Morton
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision