Strawpeople return with the first single off their last album, Count Backwards From 10. This time the song’s vocals are provided by Pearl Runga, whose sister already did guest vocals back in 1999.
Like a lot of Strawpeople videos, this one doesn’t show the musical artists involved. Instead the video features an audition, but being a Strawpeople video, it’s unusual and stylish. It’s directed by Joe Lonie, moving well away from the visual larks of his earlier work.
A number of young model/actresses are each standing in front of a camera. Their first task – to write their name on a piece of cardboard and hold it up to the camera. So, hello to Jessica, Nicola, Andrea, Amelia, Rachael, Jennifer and Polly. As they stand in front of the camera, they lip-sync the song lyrics. (It’s funny to hear the old technology used to illustrate a busy life – “I’ve got my radio on but it don’t drown the fax machine.”)
Next, they appear to have been asked to remove their clothes, stripping down to just their underwear – and they’re all wearing strapless bras. They all look a bit annoyed. Yeah, someone’s agent is getting a phone call.
The strange audition continues, with the women all required to put on a strapless crimson dress, put their hair up in a bun, secured with chopsticks (or if they’re blonde, wear a dark wig in that style), wear some pearl earrings and particular eye makeup.
Even though they’re all identically dressed, they’re still not clones. The individual personalities of the auditionees stand out. Some are smily, some serious, some flirty, some bored looking. Finally, they all hold up their name signs again. Who to pick? They’re all so different. Oh, let’s just use them all.
Best bit: the rhythmic application of makeup.
Director: Joe Lonie
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… London boy.