December 2010: The Earlybirds, The Naked and Famous, The Veils, Tiki Taane, Tommy Illz, Villainy, Vince Harder

Doppelganger delights, passionate embraces, ur a star, the summer formula, a similar cardboard world, here comes the powder, and the world famous crew.

The Earlybirds “Truth”

“Truth” was the last funded video from The Earlybirds. It’s a pity, because “Truth” shows them in a good place, delivering bold pop. The video follows lead singer Filip as he is bothered by an enchanting girl at a bar. She seems to be luring him to no good, but eventually he discovers… The Earlybirds. And this leads to an incredible scene where punter Filip gazes upon band singer Filip. Their eyes meet and there’s this really odd sexual chemistry between the two of them. Kudos to the videomakers for creating that moment.

The Earlybirds Facebook pages shows the signs of a band that have gradually faded away, with no band updates since 2013. One fan wonders, “If The Earlybirds have broken up, should I unlike this page???”

Director: Johnny Barker, Jared Kahi

The Naked and Famous “The Sun”

This video is rated as “mature” on Vimeo, which would be on account of the nudity – a naked couple in multiple passionate embraces. The visuals work with the rhythm of the song, building as the song builds; going from gentle and shadowy to chaotic and bright. I love the continued creative partnership between TNAF and Special Problems. It feels like the video directors have almost free rein – a chance to experiment and make exactly the video the song needs.

Director: Special Problems

The Veils “The Stars Came Out Once The Lights Went Out”

The video for “The Stars Came Out Once The Lights Went Out” takes great inspiration from the song title. It stars a star – that is, a guy wearing a golden star costume. He works at a planetarium and he wear his star costume all the time. There is an implication that he is an actual star – or at least a man-star. You see, when he’s relaxing at sexy pics of black holes and have a star-wank, he produces golden star-jizz. Yep. At work, the man-star is bothered by an angry planet, a drink moon and a pretty silver star. But he is not for this world. The man-star goes supernova and becomes one with the night sky. There’s so much going on with the video that it slightly dominates the song. Because who can pay attention to indie pop when there’s golden star-jizz a-flying?

Director: Alexander Gandar

Tiki Taane & DUBXL “Summer Time”

“Summer Time” is Tiki Taane’s tribute to New Zealand’s mild, green summers, and especially the ritual of heading off to a music festival. The video is the familiar style of the summer road trip, a quick trip from Wellington to the Coromandel. The song and video gives shoutouts to a rollcall of the late 2000s New Zealand music scene, including the Black Seeds, Fat Freddy’s Drop, David Dallas, Hollie Smith, Shapeshifter and Six60. It’s exact sort of acts that could be found on the bill of a summer festival. It’s both chilled out and exhilarating, just the sort of tune that sunburnt Pakeha love to get down to.

Director: Markus Sawyer

Tommy Ill “Second Hand Concorde”

I don’t know why, but for about one month in 2010, I was obsessed with Tommy Ill. His rhymes: they were dope. His best song is “Come Home Mr Ill”, but the “Second Hand Concorde” video takes place in a similar cardboard world. It’s a Goldielocks type of story, but involving beer instead of porridge. Director Brian Hainsworth creates a fun world made of paper products, with a surreal relation to the lyrics. It’s dumb fun and nicely captures the chaotic spirit of the song.

Director: Brian Hainsworth
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision

Villainy “Another Time”

Villainy was the new project of a few members of Inverse Equation. The “Another Time” video features holi powder, the celebratory colourful powder used in the Hindu spring festival. It’s something that’s featured in music videos a lot lately (see Coldplay’s “Hymn for the Weekend”, which gives it a some context), but Villainy got there early  — though not as early as Ke$ha.

The “Another Time” video doesn’t use the powder in a celebratory way — just lots of slow-motion reversed shots of people throwing powder around, or looking meaningful while covered in coloured powder. It doesn’t quite work with the big crunchy sound of the song, and it comes very close to feeling like a comedic “torture the band” video, a close relation of Rubicon’s “Rockstar (Yeah Yeah)” crossed with Goodshirt’s “Blowing Dirt”.

Director: Tim van Dammen

Vince Harder “Want This Forever”

Oh, hello Parris! Vince Harder might have been the star of this video in 2010, but six years later it’s thoroughly owned by the dancer extraordinaire Parris Goebel. Years before Bieber, Parris choreographed Vince’s video and appears in it along with her ReQuest Dance Crew. It’s an impress piece of dance — as well as some great move, the crew and Vince spend the entire video soaking wet, getting hosed down in a car park. It looks great, a perfect accompaniment to Vince’s very 2010 piece of electro pop. Not many New Zealand music videos feature dancing, but when along comes one that features an internationally acclaimed hip hop dance crew, it’s worth celebrating.

Director: Anthony Plant

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