A door opens and a man walks in. It’s a computer generated man, walking with a funky slouch, as designed by Dimmer’s drummer Gary Sullivan. The figure is soon joined by identical others, and in single-file they lumber through an ever-changing landscape, past water, flowers, a burning country manor and into a desolate city.
It’s a slow-moving video, hooked on the funk grooves of the song. The video ain’t in no big hurry either. The second half of the video shows the super chilled-out clones taking the subway to the airport.
There are hints of something sinister happening. The city streets are, after all, otherwise deserted, surrounded by barbed-wire-armoured buildings. When the clones go down into the subway, we see it from the perspective of CCTV footage and there’s a lingering shot looking at an inquisitive camera.
I’m at a point where I’m trying to figure if there’s something deeper to the video than the general sense of unease. Is the airport symbolic in a post-9/11 context? I dunno. Well, the video was nominated for best music video at the 2004 New Zealand Music Awards.
Best bit: the garden of flowers, that killer combo of pretty and sinister.
“Seed” is the second video I’ve come across that’s entirely computer animated (the first was Strawpeople’s “Drive” vid). And by this stage, it doesn’t feel like a gimmick. CGI technology has advanced enough that a talented animator (in this case, Gary Sullivan) can create a world that expresses the song.
At the heart of “Seed” is a train. We follow it as it travels through the countryside, sometimes joined by birds flying overhead. But it doesn’t quite feel like an ordinary train journey. The animation has been done in black and white, giving the video ominously gothic tones.
And then things start to get slightly surreal. Song lyrics start popping up all over the landscape. A church-like building has “hate” sitting along its roofline. Other words leap and fall with the rhythm. Then things get really surreal with the train climbing up a roof (or is it a mountain with a giant chimney?) before it falls through a giant disembodies mouth.
It actually all reminds me of the legendary “12” animation from Sesame Street. Rather than a pinball, it’s the train that’s going on a similar fantastic journey, sometimes through familiar landscapes, other times through weirdness. Though Sesame Street never had a giant floating head of Shayne Carter.