Touchdown

The Stereo Bus, Music Video, 1999

'Touchdown' was drawn from the second (and final) Stereo Bus album Brand New (1999). The stylishly minimalist video, directed by Alex Sutherland and Michael Lonsdale, appears to be a continuous shot, circling around band members and objects in a white studio set. Biffed chairs and bottles, and singer David Yetton, get up close to the lens while guitarist Jason Fa'afoi (who was co-hosting What Now? at the time) also makes multiple appearances. The slow pan matches the tempo of the band’s textured guitar pop; the promo won Best Music Video at the 2001 NZ Music Awards.

Cruise Control

Headless Chickens, Music Video, 1993

‘Cruise Control’ is one of the Headless Chicken’s most poppy and accessible songs, and became a hit in New Zealand, and (in remixed form), in Australia. This studio shot promo, for the ‘Eskimos in Egypt’ remix, has Fiona McDonald and the Chickens packed into a touring car cruising to old school rear projected nighttime cityscapes. It’s dark and moody: a wry touch of Hollywood glamour mixed with early 90s Auckland - dated by Knight Rider, bling and brick-sized mobile phones.

Black Sand Shore

Grace, Music Video, 1995

Making heavy use of Auckland Museum’s marble corridors, the sepia tone video for Grace’s 'Black Sand Shore' is pure 90s pop. Jason Ioasa leads the vocals while exploring the many corridors — although the three Ioasa brothers spend most of their time standing intensely at the entrance to the museum’s interior ‘Centennial Street’. All the while, an hourglass placed by an Ioasa and an unknown woman ominously ticks down. The single was the third off Grace's album Black Sand Shore, which was included in Nick Bollinger’s 2009 book 100 Essential New Zealand Albums.

Language

Dave Dobbyn, Music Video, 1994

This clip for Dave Dobbyn's lament about the difficulty of expressing love is a moody mix of colour, black and white, and a blue wash. Directed by Kiwi music video veteran Kerry Brown it cuts together various examples of disconnected and connected folk with a passionate performance from Dobbyn. Robyn Gallagher in her 5000 Ways blog piece on the video muses on the early 90s goatee and wonders: "[but] why dress Dave Dobbyn like a bogan dad?"

Message to My Girl

Purest Form, Music Video, 1994

A couple of years before Backstreet Boys ruled global pop charts, there was Purest Form. This 1994 cover of the Split Enz song was the biggest hit for the New Zealand vocal harmony group (who a year earlier had gained amusement park immortality, by lending their smooth sounds to a Rainbow’s End commercial). Co-produced by ex-Split Enz keyboardist Eddie Rayner, ‘Message’ peaked at number two, and won Single of the Year at the 1995 NZ Music Awards. The song’s no-frills music video sees the crooners walk and cartwheel down a beach in a catalogue of 90s fashion.

Glorafilia

Zed, Music Video, 1999

Zed was part of a wave of turn of the century Kiwi guitar bands that found chart success and popular followings. This old school Kiwi pop-rock tune finds music video interpretation via director Scott Cleator (who also envisioned Zed songs ‘Oh! Daisy’ and ‘I’m Cold’). Glorafilia keeps Ben from Zed waiting in the morning, tying ribbons in her white girl dreads (it’s a South Island thing), before science lab shenanigans, cruising in a convertible, Corsair Bay beach volleyball, fireplace bongos, Tintin t-shirts, nose-piercings and other relics from a 90s teen crush.

Bad Note for a Heart

Straitjacket Fits, Music Video, 1990

Filmed at Bethells Beach and in a tunnel somewhere in the Auckland suburb of Ellerslie, this award-winning video from future Whale Rider director Niki Caro traces a sea nymph, a beating heart and an elderly gentleman's struggle with his hat. Clearly reluctant to move into the 90s, the eternally rock Shayne Carter looks splendid in dark eye shadow — a look he later told RipItUp was "definitely a low point in rock". Bad Note for a Heart was judged best music video at the 1990 New Zealand Music Awards.

Nature

The Mutton Birds, Music Video, 1992

This muscular early 90s cover of The Fourmyula’s pastoral 1969 classic comes from the first album by Don McGlashan’s band The Mutton Birds. The award-winning music video was directed by Fane Flaws — the first of six he made with the band (after previously working with McGlashan on The Front Lawn’s Beautiful Things clip). Guest vocalist Jan Hellriegel features amongst the battery of kaleidoscopic and psychedelic digital effects used to evoke the joys of nature. In 2001 the original tune was voted best New Zealand song in 75 years by songwriting association APRA. 

Static Part 1

Joint Force, Music Video, 1995

It’s standard practice for a music video to complement a song but not on this angry media denunciation from a mid-90s hip-hop partnership featuring MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave and Darryl 'DLT' Thompson. The Josh Frizzell directed mini-epic allows them to channel their inner Tarantino in a drama featuring an Eastern European femme fatale, a criminal mastermind, a bomb, a speeding car, code breaking and the men’s toilet at Auckland’s Hotel DeBrett. Meanwhile, the music functions very much as a soundtrack as it fades in and out of the action.

Sway

Bic Runga, Music Video, 1997

The third single from Bic Runga's 1997 debut album Drive got to number seven in the NZ charts, 10 in Australia and 26 in Ireland. It nudged the UK charts at 96, and was included on the soundtrack of hit comedy American Pie. Directed by UK photographer/video director Karen Lamond and made to showcase Runga internationally, the video shows the singer shyly stalking the hipster of her 90s dreams, as he stocks the shelves of an Italian deli. Back at her place, the camera pulls back for an unexpected end. An earlier video for the single also exists, directed by Kiwi talent Joe Lonie.