February 2009: Nesian Mystik, P-Money, Savage, SJD, Sleepy Kid, Smashproof

Car park smooth moves, sleep’s restless revenge, the island life, letter and numbers, Fountain by the fountain, and gotta get down on Friday.

Nesian Mystik “RSVP”

Nesian Mystik team up with PNC for the very smooth and Justin Timberlake-sounding “RSVP”. PNC brings an edge to the song that the clean-cut Nesian boys don’t otherwise have, particularly with the lyric where he has this drinking advice for his dream girl: “Don’t scull it and vomit on my Louis Vuitton wallet”. The video is set on the top floor of a parking building, and is not unlike Percieve’s video for “Whoa”, also featuring PNC. The video follows the sophisticated lady of the song as she walks around the car park, with different settings (a nightclub, 1960s soul singers, a car) to carry the video. As a sign of its time, Awa is wearing a t-shirt featuring the newly elected President Obama.

“RSVP” was also Nesian Mystik’s 10th New Zealand top-10 single, making them the New Zealand artist with the most top-10 singles. At the time, Crowded House was second with six, but since then Savage has also reached six. Nesian Mystik scored one further top-10 single, “Sun Goes Down”, but that was the end for them. No one has since come close to beating their record, and the way the charts have been going lately – where almost no New Zealand songs chart anymore – the Nesian record will stand.

Director: Luke Sharpe

P-Money “Angels”

The “Angels” video takes the form of a fake movie trailer. P-Money plays a man who spends five years in coma, awakens and recovers, and as the titles explain, “He slept for five years, now sleep wants him back”. The man and his girlfriend (played by Meryl Cassie) move into a charming old house (played by Kingseat Hospital) where they are haunted. The video looks great, to the point where it’s like, why isn’t this an actual feature film? But the video is so good that it makes the song take second place to the film – just like any good film trailer music should.

Director: Greg Page

Savage “I Love the Islands”

Both the song and the video of “I Love the Islands” come across as hardcore propaganda for island life, and could happily do double duty as a travel commercial (a now dead web address at the end suggests it was). The video is based around a horizontal split screen, full of gorgeous shots of Samoa, especially the people. It’s the anthem of the homesick expat (“I wanna go home!”), someone who looks at their sunny island homeland with a sense of longing. And the video does a good job of capturing that dreamland.

Director: Chris Graham

SJD “Baby You’re Oh So”

“Baby You’re Oh So” takes inspiration from the chiptune sounds used in the song and creates the video in animated ASCII art – that’s pictures made from letters (especially S’s J’s and D’s), numbers and other characters. It’s a nice nerdy throwback to home computing of the 1980s, which fits right in with SJD’s style. And best of all, it’s not just the novelty of ASCII art – the video has style and flow.

Director: Dom Taylor, Simon Taylor
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Sleepy Kid “Summer Skies”

“Summer Skies” is a sweet duet between Reb Fountain and the Ferndale Strangler. Oh, I mean Johnny Barker. Johnny was less than a year out of his notorious role as Shortland Street‘s serial killer, and he turned to peaceful folk-pop instead of strangling. Sleepy Kid was his third musical project, after Jester and Nephew (or four if you also count the fake band in the Air New Zealand ad that reached No.3 with their ad jingle). Johnny steps back and lets his duet partner Reb be the star of this video, probably to stop all the horrified gasps as people realise that the Ferndale Strangler has come back from the dead to kill an indie pop star. (I’m sorry, I can’t let it go – the Ferndale Strangler was a huge part of my life in 2007.) Ok, anyway. It’s Reb Fountain hanging around the fountain in Freyberg Place, Johnny by a west coast beach, and the pair of them on the road as touring musicians. And no strangling.

Director: Johnny Barker

Smashproof “It’s Friday”

“It’s Friday” was the follow-up single to Smashproof’s huge hit “Brother”. It wasn’t as huge as “Brother” (what was?) but it did ok. The video sees Smashproof getting ready for a party. And that’s what a lot of the song is – details of what these fussy guys do before the party. This involves going to the barber, and the specific detail of doing a pre-party poo. Young Sid isn’t hosting the party, so he’s free to first go to a bar and slam down a fat stack of Ngatas, before texting his mates using his fancy new iPhone. It’s really difficult to get enthusiastic about the eventual party, because it just looks like a very ordinary party, and Smashproof describe it in very ordinary terms (compare and contrast with Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night”). But then, this is what ordinary parties are like – except the lads actually seem to spend a lot longer getting ready than I ever would.

Director: Rongotai Lomas
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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