Directed by prolific music video maker turned movie director Jonathan King, this clip for pioneering hip hop duo Dam Native won Best Video at the 1997 NZ Music Awards. It evokes the look of a sepia-tinged colonial era photo, and the art direction —Edwardian suits and tokotoko (walking stick) — are beautifully realised. The film was then deliberately scratched to help it look aged. The result makes an effective backdrop to the song’s political lyrics. DJ Sir-Vere called the track “an original Aotearoa classic”.
Mixing elements of theatre, masks and expressionism, The Barrel was a finalist for Best Video at the 2019 NZ Music Awards. The song won Lyttleton born Aldous Harding an APRA Silver Scroll Award. Harding burst onto the scene in 2014 with her album Party, impressing audiences with her vocal range, cryptic lyrics and mesmerising physicality. In this single from third album Designer, Harding is centre stage, jiving gently in platform shoes and a Dr Seuss hat, before turning the tables with a surprise reveal. Harding co-directed the video with Martin Sagadin (Spring Interlude).
This video goes for the patented band playing moodily in a warehouse approach. The debut single from Pluto's long in gestation second album is built around drums, guitar and the band's distinctive vocal sound. The lyrics to 'Long White Cloud' trade in tiredness, confusion and a woman who is kind, but no longer on the scene. Judged single of the year at the 2006 New Zealand Music Awards, it was also nominated for the Silver Scroll songwriting award. The song went on to feature during the water-logged opening titles of border security drama Orange Roughies.
Taika Waititi's 80s extravaganza wouldn't have been complete without the man himself arriving on set in a DeLorean — the time-travelling car from Back to the Future. The clip for The Phoenix Foundation is another homage-packed example of lo-fi genius from the Oscar nominated director. Note how Eastern European-derived keyboardist Luke Buda is playing a 'Poland' synthesizer. Said Waititi: "I spotted the DeLorean parked near our flat in Mt Cook, and left a note under the wiper saying 'what year are you from?' Turns it was one of two owned by a local doctor."
Hip-hop DJ and producer P-Money moves to the dance floor with this pumping, chart topper which marks the recording debut of Australian X Factor finalist Vince Harder. In Rebecca Gin’s quirky video, P Money has a whirlwind romance which starts in a supermarket and ends in tears in a club (with a sharp contrast between the white of daytime and the blacks of the night scenes) but the “shoulder friends” are the attention grabbers here. They represent the music that people carry around with them (or, at least, until they venture down one dark alley too many).
The video that helped Steriogram get discovered by Capitol Records is a nod to all things bogan, and is accessorised in line with this song title. From mullets to car mechanics, fluffy dice to line dancing, this homage to everything West Auckland, includes a cameo from then Cultural Ambassador for Waitakere Ewen Gilmour, and white trash rhyming to boot: “I got my Holden and I’m ready for Rolling / Yeah this car ain’t stolen ...”
Set in a Grey Lynn fish'n'chip shop, this clip delivers a killer kai moana concept, when it's revealed that the greasy takeaway is merely a front for the club downstairs. Winner of Best Music Video at the 2006 Vodafone NZ Music Awards, the video features a host of cameos in addition to the members of Fat Freddy's Drop: including Danielle Cormack, Ladi6, John Campbell and Carol Hirschfeld. It was directed by Mark 'Slave' Williams, sometime MC for the band. The track was part of Fat Freddy's first studio album Based on a True Story, one of the biggest-selling in Kiwi history.
The first single from Goldenhorse's second album is an insistent lover's plea that marries Kirsten Morrell's vocal dexterity to a driving tempo. In the music video for the Auckland folky rockers director Adam Jones disdains the big wide shot for disembodied images and details of the musicians performing. A vibrant Morrell, resplendent in red (rather than the lyric's lady in white) captures the centre of attention, with her band mates providing a textured background — and workout for the focus puller.
This pop-punk version of Monte Video's novelty hit by Wellington band Spacial Verb was the winner of a competition run by radio station Channel Z. The video reprises the original's tale of finding love in all the wrong places, with the station's staff making up the cast and lead roles for breakfast show hosts (and former ICE TV presenters) Nathan Rarere and Jon Bridges. Rarere rings every ounce of lasciviousness out of the already suspect lyrics — and that's Bridges in the pink. Watch out also for James Coleman and Clarke Gayford in the trio of drag queens.
The urgent, pulsating 'Just a Little Bit' was the second single for Auckland electropop duo Kids of 88. On a set lit by suitably retro fluorescent light tubes, director Tim van Dammen's clip echoes the video for the band's debut 'Our House' — but with models fighting each other rather than having paint poured over them. Van Dammen's aim was to create "a fight, but shot to look like an orgy" — and, by the end of the video, the line between passion and aggression is all but indistinguishable. The single and video were both winners at the 2010 Vodafone NZ Music Awards.