Chris Knox has described this love song as being “about as naked as I get” and “utterly heartfelt in a way that ‘Not Given Lightly’ only hints at”. So it’s no surprise the video is perhaps his most personal, with striking images of his long-time partner Barbara Ward’s face, sometimes projected on and merged with Knox’s own image. Mix in some classic low-tech Knox animation and the simple big red heart image of the Beat album cover - and it’s a poignant little gem.
In 2012 Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement sat down with some Kiwi children. They wanted to get back in touch with what the kids were about. Flight of the Conchords were creating a special song for health research charity Cure Kids; the children supplied them with lyrical ideas involving bowls, bubbles and a major overhaul of the banking system. A superstar team of Kiwi singers and rappers joined the Conchords in the studio. The chart-topping song's mix of deep concern and nonsensical rhyming celebrates and parodies previous charity efforts like ‘We are the World’.
Comprised of veteran players from Auckland’s punk scene, The Bleeders quickly made a name for themselves with their polished take on the then-nascent ‘post-hardcore’ sound of the early 2000s. ‘Out of Time’, a tribute to friends of the band who were killed in a car accident, was their first single for Universal. The accompanying video has singer Angelo Munro stalking the tunnels and ramps of an inner-city skate park before joining an entourage of friends, fans and hangers-on for the song’s anthemic chorus — and a poignant gesture to the heavens.
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).
A song that manages to feel fast and gentle all at once, 'Hey Little' marked the first single for Auckland band Pluto. The low-tech stylings of the music video evoke the feel of a home movie; the shots of children, pets and good times with friends and family are an appropriate match to the lyrics, which evoke a parent talking affectionately to a child. 'Hey Little' vocalist Milan Borich was first seen in front of the cameras at age 12, as one of the stars of 1940s-set TV drama The Champion.
Banned by TVNZ, this Hot Grits video follows a group of friends having a party, before a night on the town. The only difference: this time it is young children doing the drinking (milk), and wigging out. 'Headlights' won two awards at Kiwi music video contest Handle the Jandle in 2008: Best Video, and Best Use of Exploitative Tactics. During filming, creative collective The Downlow Concept (TV series Hounds) attempted to control their junior cast by bribing them with sweets and toys. But when "sugar madness" kicked in, the kids were in control.
The lead single off Maisey Rika’s 2009 self-titled EP is accompanied by a delicate and moody music video. After catching up with supportive friends, Rika continues singing her song about starting over in Auckland's Albert Park. Then she hits the road in in the back of a ute, playing her way through Auckland city and on into the countryside. The 'Letting Go' single helped Rika's EP reach the NZ Top 40, following on from her previous double-platinum success — when at age 13 she released an award-winning album of traditional Māori song, E Hine.
Utilising split screen and a home movie-style aesthetic, this video for this Benny Tipene single practically screams summer. Starring Tipene and friends out on a road trip in the sun, the video has the crew playing in the grass, swimming and sailing, and eating fruit by the water. The single saw plenty of airplay off its December 2013 release, helped in part by its use in a Coca-Cola advertising campaign at the time. The song appeared on EP Toulouse, which was nominated for Album of the year at the 2014 New Zealand Music Awards.
The lyrics to Greg Johnson's ‘Looking out on Monday’ pay tribute to the satisfaction of sleeping in, and skiving off work; they also mention recognising that “failure is in your lover’s eyes”. Johnson's long time musical collaborator Ted Brown appears in the video as the friend who pops over to Greg's place (in Los Angeles?) to say hello. 'Looking Out on Monday' is taken from 2008's Seven Day Cure, which NZ Herald critic Russell Baillie called “one of the most fully realised Johnson albums yet”. The track was included in Dustin Hoffman / Emma Thompson romance Last Chance Harvey.
With its swirling keyboards and dark lyrical concerns (in keeping with the fraught year New Zealand was then embarking on), 'Jumping Out a Window' has become a classic, including a slot in APRA's Nature's Best Top 100. The third Pop Mechanix single, it shows the influence of the friends the band was starting to make —it was produced by Split Enz' Eddie Rayner and the debut release on Mike Chunn's boutique XSF label. The TVNZ made clip is firmly of its time and one of the broadcaster's more literal efforts (no mean feat in itself) — featuring windows and jumping.