August 2010: Anika Moa, Annah Mac, Atlanta Fall, Autozamm, Black River Drive, Brooke Fraser, Chazz Valentine, Die! Die! Die!

A very wet phone call, change management, paper boats, the band and the song, thrift store art, damp hair in a cool cafe, the romantic punk, and chaotic scribbles.

Anika Moa “Blame It On The Rain”

The video for “Blame It On The Rain” (no relation to the iconic Milli Vanilli song) involves a very wet phone call. Anika is on the phone to her sweetie, but things get emotional and the tears start flowing. Soon there’s water everywhere, pouring out of the receiver, down the walls. Anika eventually finds herself outside by a waterfall, watching a version of herself as a child. It’s very symbolic. The caller is happy again, but that leaves Anika sitting on her bed, soaked. Love isn’t easy.

Director: Marc Swadel

Annah Mac “Baby Don’t Change”

On the surface “Baby Don’t Change” is a sweet love song, but there’s a darkness lurking. Like any song in the “don’t go changing” category, it comes with the more sinister parallel that implies the singer can’t deal with change or growth. In this case, Annah seems to want to hang on to the spark of new love, which suggests that things have already started to cool off. But the video never goes there. Annah walks around the city at night, shot with beautiful warm light. It creates a memory, the kind of situation that one would want to hold on to forever and never have change.

Director: Stephen Tolfrey
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Atlanta Fall “Release Your Fears”

Atlanta Fall were a young band from the North Shore. They won a demo competition and had “Release Your Fears” professionally produced, and won another competition to open for Good Charlotte. The band look and sound like they’re at the tail end of the ’00s, with a Christian pop twist. The music video features a guy who sets paper boats afloat on Lake Pupuke, and a girl who writes her fears on a sheet of glass. Meanwhile, the band perform the song in a studio flooded with water. It’s very symbolic, y’all. When the lead singer howls “Release you fears now!”, that’s the paper boats and the nouns of fear. This was Atlanta Fall’s first and only funded video.

Director: CaptainHook

Autozamm “Breathe”

So, I was watching this video and I got a bit bored and absentmindedly checked Instagram and saw a picture of a lemon cupcake. And I thought, it would be quite fun to make lemon cupcakes, and you could grate some lemon zest on top, or even get a bit next level by baking in a surprise blob of lemon curd. Then I remembered there was an Autozamm music video playing. That’s the problem – both the video and the song aren’t remarkable enough on their own. The song is a fairly inoffensive rock ballad, and even less happens n the video. But YouTube commenter Caroline loved the song enough to have selected it as the processional music at her wedding, so it’s not all that bad. I wonder if she had lemon cupcakes at the wedding.

Director: Mikee Carpinter

Black River Drive “15 Minutes”

Maybe the best thing about this video is the five-year-old ruckus in the YouTube comments. Someone had slagged off Black River Drive, which bothered all their fans who rebutted that BRD are a hard-working band, they opened for Bon Jovi, they sell CDs and are a lot better than Opshop. So there. The Warhol-inspired “15 Minutes” is a standard rock song with a standard rock video. The song is raging against someone who wants to be famous but doesn’t deserve it (yawn), but the video doesn’t sell it. More interesting is the glimpses of thrift store art seen on the walls where the band are playing.

Director: Ivan Slavov

Brooke Fraser “Something in the Water”

There’s rightly a big deal made out of Lorde’s “Royals” reaching the top of the American charts in 2013, but a couple of years before that, Brooke Fraser’s quirky “Something in the Water” reached No.8 in Germany and went Gold (over 150,000 sold!). And remember – Germany is one of the largest countries in the world, its music market is huge, and getting a hit single there is really hard. So well done, Brooke Fraser!

The video, directed by Special Problems, takes minor inspiration from the central metaphor of the song and gives Brooke damp hair (but it’s nothing like Anika Moa’s supersoaked “Blame It On The Rain”). Brooke just sits in a number of hip settings that look like the opshop-inspired decor of a cool cafe or a tastefully decorated flat. This look is still on trend right now, which pays kudos to Special Problems’ ability to get in at the right moment with fashion. But the decor isn’t even the star of the video. That’s given over to Brooke. The video lets her just sit in a chair and be an indie pop star.

Director: Special Problems
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Chazz Valentine featuring Rupe Rabble “Unstoppable”

Chazz Valentine is the romantic version of Chazz Rabble, a solo project for his love songs that didn’t fit with the more straight-up punk-pop of The Rabble. “Unstoppable” puts Chazz in downtown Auckland. He wanders around the old train station with his bro, and rocks out in a shipping container with his band. We also see him go for a drive in the countryside with his lady, with extra attention paid to the vintage Datsun they’re in. It’s not the fanciest video, but if the YouTube comments from Chazz’z fans are anything to go by, it doesn’t need to be fancy.

Director: Ivan Slavov

Die! Die! Die! “Wasted Lands”

I’m not sure how to describe “Wasted Lands” other than it’s a Die! Die! Die! music video. There’s some footage of the band, where they hang out, looking like cool nerds, but much of the video is the band overlaid with chaotic scribbles and skulls. If Die! Die! Die! are your boyfriend’s favourite band, the “Wasted Lands” video is playing right into that aesthetic.

Director: Marc Swadel
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

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