August 2009: Anna Coddington, Annah Mac, Batucada Sound Machine, Bic Runga, Black River Drive, Come To Dolly

An enchanted forest, fatherly advice, arguing over coffee, a travelling zebra salesman, a relentless onslaught, and a night at the museum.

Anna Coddington “Never Change”

The “Never Change” video puts Anna Coddington into the animated world of a classic European fairytale. As she wanders through an enchanted/haunted forest, a nearby witch magics obstacles into her path. Our heroine overcomes them (of course) and eventually comes to the witch’s house, only to discover that she herself is the witch, I think. The big reveal is a little unclear as we only see the witch side on, but she does strongly resemble a side-on Anna. It’s a cute video, with decent work putting real-life Anna into the cartoon forest.

Director: Simon Burgin
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Annah Mac “Focus”

“Focus” is a pep talk, with Annah recounting the stern but loving talk her father gave her: “Girl, I need you to show me some focus.” It’s the tale of a teen, struggling between wanting to be a good student and also wanting to have fun with her friends. The video takes its cue from the beach setting of the lyrics, mixing it with a crinkled look of an old ripped photograph. The video misses out on some of the emotional heft of the lyrics, but maybe that’s a good thing, letting the song lead and the video follow.

Director: Tim van Dammen
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Batucada Sound Machine “He Said, She Said”

The last time we saw Batucada Sound Machine, they were being all dark and mysterious in the “Smoke” video. For “He Said, She Said”, they’re out in the daytime, sitting around a cafe while a bickering couple work out their differences via the medium of interpretive dance. It’s nicely shot, with the dramatic dancers tolerated by the inconvenienced cafe patrons (i.e., the rest of the band) who are trying to enjoy their coffee. It works well, capturing the rhythm and attitude of the song without using a conventional performance video.

Director: James Solomon
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Bic Runga “Hello Hello”

“Hello Hello” was co-written with Dann Hume of Evermore, and it’s a cheerful country-tinged song with bittersweet undertones. The video was shot around Port Waikato and Maori Bay and takes inspiration from spaghetti western films. Bic finds a locked orange suitcase (a MacGuffin!) and goes wandering around a picturesque (but very windy) landscape in search of a key. Bic’s bae Kody (The Mint Chicks, Opossom) makes a cameo as a roadside photographer/zebra salesman.

Director: Karl Lear

Black River Drive “Bullet For Your Gun”

Black River Drive have the power pop-rock of “Bullet For Your Gun”, a relentless onslaught of rock attitude. Relentless! The video takes the band and bathes them in smoke along with red, green and blue lights. But if the sight of an all-dude rock band is perhaps a little overwhelming, the video also throws in three women. The curly haired sirens stand around emoting more of that relentless rock attitude.

Come To Dolly “Tonight We Fall”

Come to Dolly are partying like it’s 1999, with a very strong nu metal sound, like Korn. The museum location was filmed at Massey University in Wellington, but I’m not sure if that means the old museum building or whether it was just in a campus film studio. The video is full of black hair dye, nail polish, eyeliner, combined with mystical floaty graphics. It probably would have been a really impressive video about five years prior, at peak emo, but as a product of 2011, it just feels dated.

Director: Steve Butler, Phill Andrews

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