June 2009: Dei Hamo, DJ CXL, Esther Melody Band, False Start, Falter, Haylee Fisher

The good life, all the boys together, on a boat, LA and LV, a superhero story, and a girls’ night out.

Dei Hamo “Hold U Down”

This video is so rich with details. The outdoor gym machine, the floral net curtains at the girl’s house, the doggie cushion she snuggles, the swing tag on Dei Hamo’s hat, the classic Chevy Impala – everything feels perfect. “Hold U Down” is Dei Hamo’s love song, promising to love a girl when her boyfriend isn’t around. Oh really? He picks her up in his Chevy, they go to a city hotel room and the next thing she’s in bed by herself while he’s sitting on the end of the bed, rapping. I keep thinking back to the romantic tracks of LL Cool J like “I Need Love”. “Hold U Down” seems so desperately laden with symbols of the good life that it forgets to actually have a good time.

Director: Ivan Slavov, Daniel Strang

DJ CXL featuring Temple Jones “Number One”

So this is an interesting case of a missing video that ended up being made later in a different form. The original version of “Number One”, with guest vocals from Temple Jones, was intended to be released in 2010 as DJ CXL’s first solo single. But due to “unforeseen circumstances” it was switched to “My Love”. CXL later remade “Number One” with K.One and PNC on vocals, and that’s the video above.

Director: Mark Arona

Esther Melody “Meet Me at the Water”

“Meet Me at the Water” is a quirky track that shifts through all sorts of genres, with Esther herself effortlessly switching from sounding like an elusive chanteuse to a Kiwi street busker. The video is shot at scenic Lake Karapiro (aka a wide part of the Waikato River), and features elite New Zealand rowers, including Mahe Drysdale and Eric Murray. The rowing component feels a bit random, and the sight of the band members whizzing around in the back of the boats just feels like a “I’m in a boat!” lol moment. But perhaps the boat antics add some contrast to the golden sunset scenes.

Director: Greg Page

False Start “Veins”

Some videos shot overseas spend a lot of time establishing the location, just to make sure everyone knows that the video is shot in Tokyo/Samoa/London and not Auckland. This video, shot in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, takes that concept to an extreme – almost every shot in the video is identifiable as either LA or LV. Make no mistake – this video was not filmed in New Zealand, ok? And that’s basically it. Lead singer Andrew wandering around those two American cities, with occasional shots of the band rocking out in an anonymous black studio. Has an American band has ever made a video like this in New Zealand?

Director: Anthony Plant
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Falter “Can We Save Yesterday”

Falter are working their way through the pop-rock climate of the ’00s with “Can We Save Yesterday”. Despite the emotional tone of the song, the video keeps it light, setting the band amid a school production style of superhero story, complete with flimsy backdrops, cardboard scenery and homemade costumes. It’s a good contrast with the song. The humour of the video (all the while keeping with the theme of the song) lifts what might otherwise be a somewhat draining listening experience.

Director: Dave Thomson
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Haylee Fisher “Butterflies”

Haylee Fisher has her second and final funded video, “Butterflies”, a really sweet and cheerful pop song. The video follows Haylee and her two pals as they have a night out. And because it is 2009, she has a clamshell phone and takes selfies with a digital camera. On their night out, they come across a guy in a panda suit and invite him along. So there’s the guy in a panda suit dancing with Kanye glasses and it’s all hilarious. But Haylee is sad because she doesn’t have any sexts on her phone. No worries – the panda takes his head off and – surprise! – he’s a cute guy. Best night ever!

Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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