April 2008: Tangled, The Have, The Naked and Famous, The Ruby Suns, The Valves, These Four Walls

Travel snaps, a fortune is told, Harriet versus Otto, never a dull mirror, and waking up again and again.

Tangled “Find My Way” – missing

2008-tangled-find-my-wayNormally I’d assume that this video had never been made, but yet there is a long abandoned Facebook page with stills from a video shoot for “Find My Face”. It was shot in scenic Montenegro, surely one of the most exotic locations for a New Zealand music video shoot. Tangled later released the similarly titled “Make Your Way There”, with a video set in a forest.

The Have “Back to the Burning Wreck”

“Back to the Burning Wreck” uses footage of The Have on the road. There’s live concert footage, but most of the “life on the road” scenes are shown using still photos. This is genius, because it means the video is spared endless scenes of band members mugging to the camera. It looks like a cheapie video, but it’s strong song and the band’s swagger in the live scenes stands out.

The Naked and Famous “Serenade”

It’s the Naked and Famous, with the first of their many videos by Special Problems. It really feels like the Naked/Special collaborations were the peak perfection of New Zealand music videos in the late 2000s. There’s no lip synching in “Serenade”. Instead the band members hold origami fortune tellers in their hands that they move to the beat, standing in front of an animated background. The song’s folk pop sound is different from their later synth pop songs, but the video is the beginning of the band’s strong visual identity.

Director: Special Problems
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Ruby Suns “There Are Birds”

“There Are Birds” follows wannabe aviatrix Harriet and the evil Otto von Raven. Harriet is designing a balloon-powered flying machine, which Otto wants. He’s about to steal it when she jumps in, flying away with her faithful dog. The song is so gentle that it takes away some of the energy of the visuals, but there are still a lot of nicely shot scenes.

Director: Marco Vidaurre
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

The Valves “One In Ten”

The “One in Ten” video stars lead singer Brent Black (nee Milligan) standing in front of some mirrors. He’s having emotional mirror angst issues. The band also play in an old warehouse with wet floor. Yeah, suddenly in the late 2000s all these old buildings started developing leaks, letting so much water in. It’s a low budget video, but there’s plenty of over-the-top rock energy.

Director: Richard Bell
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

These Four Walls “Fly Home”

I wasn’t looking forward to this video, on account of how violent and hammy the group’s previous videos were. But this one is actually quite good. It’s based around a guy who is going through a Groundhog Day type situation – he has five minutes to get from home to a mysterious door. If he doesn’t make it, he goes back to the start, waking up in bed. He has to remember to avoid various obstacles along the way, and this pays off with a rather satisfying conclusion – though the final scene of what’s behind the door is quite disappointing. Cut with this is shots of the band playing in a room lit with candles. The dramatics of earlier videos are gone and in its place is a band finding their own style.

Director: Simon Boswell
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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