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Snug As F**k

Liam Finn, Music Video, 2014

This US-shot video from Liam Finn’s 2014 album The Nihilist sees Finn roll up in a land celebrating ‘Jubilancy Day’. When the video premiered on  Noisey.com in February 2014, Finn said that the concept aimed to show the absurdity of human holiday rituals: “Like, if you weren’t from earth and you came and saw us worshipping an Easter bunny or a guy in a big red suit, you might think it’s quite strange.” The rat and tomato-centric family fun — directed by Brooklyn, NYC duo Anthony and Alex — includes cameos by Australian musos Kirin J Callinan and Eliza-Jane Barnes.

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Alright

Tadpole, Music Video, 2000

Tadpole’s 2000 debut album The Buddhafinger debuted at No.2 in the RIANZ Top 40, and spawned no less than six singles. ‘Alright’ showcases the band’s ability to fuse nu-metal and dance elements into a hooky pop concoction, dominated by the polished, theatrical vocals of Renee Brennan (who had a sideline in voiceovers and DJ’ing). The dreadlocked guitarist in red Dickies is Chris Yong — political groupies may recognise him for his later stint as Laila Harre’s deputy in the Internet Party. 

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Cut to the Chase

Greg Johnson, Music Video, 2000

This music video features Greg Johnson sitting in front of a kaleidoscopic green screen, while the backdrop changes through green paddock to wavy blue, and everything in between. Alongside the Kiwi scenery, Johnson sings of a woman he is extremely keen to know better. The clip’s final shot reveals a different locale than expected. 'Cut to the Chase' is taken from 2000 album Sea Breeze Hotel, which NZ Herald writer Russell Baillie praised as expressive and wide-ranging.

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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.

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Flicker

Fetus Productions, Music Video, 1985

The feverish complexity of Flicker is captured in this video collaboration between Fetus Productions' Jed Town and director Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City, promos for INXS, Crowded House, Mike Oldfield). The pair deliver a terrifically haunting clip, skillfully creating an intensely serpentine work full of dark frames and layered, unnerving images. Yikes.  

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Don't Dream It's Over

Crowded House, Music Video, 1986

Neil Finn has described the lyric to this song as "on the one hand, feeling kind of lost and, on the other hand, sort of urging myself on". The wistful single was Crowded House's breakthrough, hitting number two in the US (and the top spot in Aotearoa, after local radio earlier showed little interest). Australian director Alex Proyas (The Crow) based his video on locations from the band members' childhoods. As Finn walks from room to room, the video also neatly reinforces the band's name. 'Don't Dream It’s Over' remains one of the biggest international hits penned by a Kiwi.

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Odyssey

Ruby Frost, Music Video, 2011

'Odyssey' is the second single for Ruby Frost (a musical persona created by Auckland singer-songwriter Jane de Jong). With a wink and nod to the DIY craft aesthetic, director Veronica Crockford-Pound’s video presents West Auckland's Bethells Beach as an alien landscape inhabited by exotic, glitter-faced creatures. Accordingly the subject matter of this  electro-pop odyssey is more of the space variety than Homeric; but, for all of the astral imagery, the journey in question is actually about de Jong rediscovering her creativity after difficult times.

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Get Loose

The D4, Music Video, 2001

One minute and 57 seconds of fast, furious and fully fledged rock n roll behavior - a video clip that beautifully represents The D4's mission statement. Frenetic editing, testosterone pumped performances and gritty lighting push the song forward at a frantic pace, while Alex Mench's subtle inclusions like a boot to the camera and askew framing place the viewer centre front of the mosh pit.

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Savin' Up

Sonny Day, Music Video, 1985

Sonny Day was a working musician from the late 50s to the early 90s, but recorded infrequently. 'Savin' Up', his first solo single, was a soulful cover of a song Bruce Springsteen gifted to his sax player Clarence Clemons — and an appropriate counterpoint to the glitz of 80s materialism. The video, shot in Auckland's Vulcan Lane plus the legendary Birdcage bar, has Sonny in his element, while performing with a band that includes Neil Edwards (ex-Underdogs), Tama Renata (ex-Herbs) and backing vocalists Annie Crummer, Beaver and Josie Rika.

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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.