We last saw Aerial in the mundane setting of the Huapai takeaway shop, but things get more glam with “Come Around Again”. The video is like a scrapbook of travel mementos from the mid-20th century, back when air travel was fancy and exciting.
To ground things in reality, the video is bookended live action scenes of the duo singing in a recording studio. It’s deep in the mixing desk that the travel adventure begins, with the cables and plugs echoing images of power lines and a manual telephone exchange.
The rest of the video is animated, but not in a cartoony way. There are lots of still shots and layers of travel icons and other symbols of the era – maps, air mail letters, rotary phones and telegrams. And as the NZ On Screen description notes, it is a very rewarding video, with layers of delight to uncover.
The issue for me is that the song itself isn’t especially remarkable, a pretty forgettable MOR love song. The video ends up being way more interesting than the song. I’d rather print out screenshots and enjoy the visuals as a series of postcards than in music video form.
“As I Fall” is set in a fish and chip shop (the one in Huapai, to be precise) where Michelle and Andre Aerial are working behind the counter. In comes a hard-working Kiwi bloke who has a good look at the extensive menu before ordering, er, fish and chips. What, no paua fritter?
Andre passes the order onto Michelle, to gets to work dipping the fish in the batter and getting it and the chips in the fryer. At this point I was thinking how amazing it would be if the music video was just footage of fish and chips being cooked. I’d really be into that.
Sadly the urge to be a sensible music video is too great and we get a compromise – a split screen with Michelle singing and the fish frying. Sometimes the action focuses on just Michelle, and somehow that’s a bit disappointing. I mean, she’s a nice singer and looks good on camera, but there’s something just that much more appealing about fish and chips.
Sometimes the lone Michelle scenes put her in the middle of the kitchen with the camera moving around, which reminds me of the similar kitchen-hand glam of Carly Binding’s “Love Will Save Me” video.
The freshly made F&Cs are wrapped up in newspaper, a reminder of the days before the Herald downsized to a compact format, hugely affecting the New Zealand corner takeaway industry. The bloke gets his order, along with a “longest drink in town” milkshake and goes on his way.
So why the fish an chip shop setting? Well, the song ends with the line “Just happy where we are”. And the video makes this Huapai fish and chip shop seem like a pretty idyllic place to be. But let’s see what happens come the Friday night rush.
Best bit: the fish, followed closely by the chips.