A stairway to heaven, trees and sheets, on a wharf, a caged journey, the new aesthetic, on top of a car park, and extreme levels of male shirtlessness.
The Adults “One Million Ways”
The Adults is a New Zealand pop-rock super group, led by Jon Toogood, along with such stars as Shayne Carter, Julia Deans, Anika Moa, Tiki Taane and Ladi6. “One Million Ways” sounds like a Shihad track from the General Electric era, and perhaps it’s an outlet for Toogood to release his gentler tunes. The video is animated, where a group of toys try to escape a grim, grey-hued CGI world, for the bright light above. While the video is wrapped up in the rhythm of the song, it still feels quite distant from it and it’s hard to keep track of the visuals.
Director: Raymond McGrath
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
The Good Fun “Karaoke”
“Karaoke” takes place on a cold autumnal day. The band spends a lot of time running around in the outdoors, with lengths of colourful fabric also showing up amongst the trees. It works really well — there’s loads of energy, some crazy antics and a touch of artful weirdness.
“Karaoke” was the second and final funded song for The Good Fun. But frontman Leroy Clampitt has gone on to finding work as a songwriter and producer, which includes a credit (and Grammy nomination) on J. Bieber’s latest album.
Director: Matthew Hope, Reuben Stephens
The Jury & The Saints featuring Stan Walker “Patience”
The YouTube description puts it best: “This is a song with people singing and having the time of their lives. Sometimes they are in a tree tunnel, sometimes they are on a wharf. Both places are in the Auckland city in New Zealand.” But missing is guest vocalist Stan Walker. Whenever his vocals come on, the video shyly looks away, with scenes of the city or trees or random close-ups of musical instruments taking his place.
Director: Haimona Ngata
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
The Rabble “The Journey”
“Journey” starts with a dictionary definition of what a journey is and goes on to assert that “LIFE’S A JOURNEY!” But the band isn’t going on a journey. Instead they are impounded inside an electrified cage. So I guess it’s all about how LIFE’S A JOURNEY! even if you don’t physically go anywhere. Deep.
Director: Ivan Slavov
Tiki Taane & Crushington “Light Years Away”
It’s been common that harder-edged electronic songs have videos that largely ignore people in favour of some sort of CGI graphics. But Tiki Taane isn’t afraid of putting himself out there. He performs to camera and gives a strong, emotional delivery. But that’s not all there is. During the big DnB breakdown, Tiki still features but the video goes all New Aesthetic, making the image warped and pixelly. The whole thing works really well, locking into a human connection when it’s needed, letting go when it’s not.
Director: Ian Brown
Tyson Tyler featuring J Williams, K.One & Young Sid “Go Hard”
“Go Hard” was Tyson Tyler’s debut single, and it’s packed with the familiar stars of Illegal Musik. The action takes place on Cross Street, both down on the street itself (tick off a square on your Auckland Music Video Locations Bingo card) and on top of the nearby city council parking building. The video also features footage of people — mostly young men — engaged in various sporting activities. It made me think “Yeah, but why”, and then I got to thinking about the existential meaning of why people participate in sports. Anyway. The video seems to have been geared towards hitting a few cultural cues but I’m not sure if it quite gets there. Sometimes it feels epic and inspirational, other times it’s just a some entertainers mucking around on top of a car park.
Director: Mark Arona
Villainy “Alligator Skin”
So, this video was directed by Gilda Kirkpatrick!!! And while it’s not as entertaining as Real Housewives of Auckland (RIP), it’s still pretty good. “Alligator Skin” is full of music video tropes, but there’s so much that it never quite feels cliched. It puts the band in stark settings and throws in things like a dwarf cutting words into a guy’s skin, crawling ants, hair-cutting, mouth flies and levels of male shirtlessness not seen since the early 1990s. There’s also a scene involving some statement furniture, which seems very RHOAKL. It’s very extravagant, but it’s just as well the song is strong enough to hold up to the drama.
Director: Gilda Kirkpatrick