April 2008: Rhombus, Scribe, Shihad, Simple Day, Solstate, Stu Strawbridge

Blackboard scribbles, a modern Pacific city, shockingly inoffensive, helping out with the lambs, the location that swallowed the band, and the most boring farm ever.

Rhombus “So Close”

The high jinks of earlier Rhombus videos are gone, replaced with a relaxed animation. The video is based on a blackboard, with a colourful selection of chalk used to draw an animation of the singer and decorations, also embellished with plastic flowers, toy numbers, and pinecones. It’s not a particularly captivating video, but it’s on the same level as the chilled-out song.

Director: Paul Herschell
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Scribe “Babygirl”

Scribe’s ode to his daughter takes place in Samoa. But it’s not the typical Samoa of music videos, all picturesque beaches, laughing kids and palm trees. This is downtown Apia, a modern Pacific-island city. So there’s Scribe walking the city streets, doing interviews, catching up with family and, ok, there’s also time for picturesque beaches. He’s in Samoa for a big stadium concert (also on the bill: NZ Idol series two winner Rosita Vai), so the video peaks with the big show, another side of modern Apia. This was Scribe’s final funded video as a solo artist, but he does appear as a guest vocalist in the future.

Director: Oscar Kightley
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Shihad “Vampires”

“Vampires” is so mild, so inoffensive that it genuinely sounds like Shihad are covering a Feelers song. The video was shot at Wellington’s Homegrown music festival in 2008. So the visuals are Shihad giving a hearty rock performance in front of an appreciative crowd, at odds with the mild pop-rock number they’re playing. Maybe the video is an attempt to add some classic Shihad rock attitude to a much more polite song. As is the way with Shihad, the next two albums swung back to the heavier side of things.

Director: Adam Jones
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Simple Day “Collection Day”

Simple Day are a band transitioning out of emo rock (the eyeliner is gone) but seeming a little unsure of where that leaves them. “Collection Day” is set on a farm, with the band first starting off helping out with chores – hanging out the washing and feeding lambs. When night falls, they’re rocking out in a paddock, surrounded by fairy lights and – just for good measure – a burning couch. It’s all part of the post-emo transition.

Director: Ivan Slavov
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Solstate “Tonight”

This is, to be honest, a fairly ordinary rock video. There’s the band playing the song in a graffiti-covered concrete space, glistening with water and lit with bright white lights. While the band feature in the video, they’re usually shot in shadows or with the bright light bleeding in front of them. The end result is a lack of connection with the group, as they take second place to the location of the video.

Director: Aleksander Sakowski
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Stu Strawbridge “Dance”

This was Stu Strawbridge’s one and only funded music video. It’s set on a farm, which could easily be a hotbed of drama, but instead it’s presented as the most boring place on earth. Stu shears sheep, drenches deer, hangs out with the dogs – and the whole time he looks frozen with boredom. Maybe he’s just not good on camera. But if that’s the case, then go with a video treatment that isn’t so dependent on the singer to add life.

Director: Ivan Slavov
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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