June 2007: Fur Patrol, Hera, Liam Finn, Midnight Youth, My Life Story, Paul McLaney, Pine

A bath full of wine, playing in the leaves, a small church,  love letters, a girl’s name, golden years and ur teacha iz da best.

Fur Patrol “Great Leap Forward”

Fur Patrol, now a threesome, take to the woods. The three of them are seen constructing musical instruments from twigs, logs of wood and autumn leaves – and it’s this construction that takes up most of the video, along with Julia lying in the leaves. The visuals seem quite distant from the song, even the eventual shot of the band performance with their eco gear feels disconnected from the song itself.

Director: Anna Lea Kelly

Hera “Feels So Good”

Hera is an Iceland-born, Christchurch-based singer who is known for the designs she draws on her face (and her music, of course). “Feels So Good” is a cute song, and the video is filled with things that feel good: kittens, puppies, using loaves of bread as slippers, and taking a bath in red wine. The background uses similar swirly designs as her face make-up – so on-brand.

Director: Andie Spargo

Liam Finn “Gather to the Chapel”

“Gather to the Chapel” feels like a grown-up version of the “one-take wonder” videoes director Joe Lonie made with Goodshirt in the early ’00s. Only this time the one-take isn’t done for lolz – everything seems to be done for a reason. The video is set at St Stephen’s Chapel in Parnell and follows Liam down the path, through the graveyard (yes, a use of a graveyard that isn’t about creating a cheap horror-movie setting!) and into the chapel. It’s shot in what appears to be a continuous take, with Liam appearing and disappearing from different sides as the song progresses. But most importantly, the potential gimmick of the video doesn’t disrupt the song.

“Gather to the Chapel” was nominated for Best Video at the 2008 New Zealand Music Awards, it won Video of the Year at the 2007 Juice TV Awards, and was No.94 in the Film Archive’s Ready to Roll? top 100 New Zealand music videos.

Director: Joe Lonie
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Midnight Youth “The Letter”

“The Letter” has a massive arena sound, but because this is New Zealand and no one has that sort of money, the video sticks the band in a white studio set, looking like they’ve showed up wearing their street clothes. But the band – particularly lead singer Jeremy Redmore – deliver a solid performance. It’s slightly broken by the distracting overlaid images of letters and envelopes, but if you ignore that, it’s a decent enough low-budget video.

Director: Stephen Tolfrey
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

My Life Story “Pride”

This is My Life Story’s final funded video. I’m going to miss them because it seems that a few of the band are now working as teachers, meaning the YouTube comments are full of excited remarks like “The lead singer iz mi teacha he’s da best!!!” The “Pride” video puts the band by the beach, getting much more serious than previous videos. The best part happens before the video starts, with an outtake showing the band rudely interrupted by the rapidly encroaching tide.

Director: Ivan Slavov

Paul McLaney “Many More Days of Happiness to Come”

The YouTube description says this song is a “celebratory song to welcome in the new year, and to toast and enjoy good company at special times”, though it does sound a bit melancholic at times. The video is based around footage from New Zealand in the mid 20th century, showing things like the building of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, and some golden weather Kiwi family holidays. I get what the video is trying to evoke, but Don McGlashan’s “Miracle Sun” video had a much better, more emotional use of old newsreel footage mixed with contemporary scenes.

Pine “Hosanna”

Despite being titled “Hosanna”, the song doesn’t appear a song of praise and celebration of Jesus Christ. Instead Hosanna seems to have been used as an easy rhyme for Joanna and Susanna. The two-minute song puts Pine in different corners of a room, with the camera rotating around to film them (like a darker version of Elemeno P’s “Nirvana” video). It’s ok, but it’s not as good as the performance of “Hosanna” from the 1973 film adaption of Jesus Christ Superstar.

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