Destiny in Motion

Satellite Spies, Music Video, 1985

In September 1985 Satellite Spies released 'Destiny In Motion', their first single. It made waves in the NZ charts, peaking at number 14 and spending 10 weeks in the top 50. The corresponding video is stylishly minimalist. Lead singer Mark Loveys and guitarist Deane Sutherland wander darkened back alleys in the rain, and encounter a mysterious blue triangle. The song proved a good launchpad: in March of 1986 Satellite Spies found themselves opening for Dire Straits when the group arrived in New Zealand. After that, Loveys and Sutherland were destined to move in different orbits.

Pressure Man

The Feelers, Music Video, 1998

The first single off mutli-platinum 1998 album Supersystem helped bring Christchurch rockers The Feelers to a wide audience. For the video, director Joe Lonie has been given the resources to pull out all the stops — maintaining momentum with constant motion and cutting, while underlining the pressure motif by having the band performing in a boiler room, and claustrophobically running through a pipe. 'Pressure Man' was nominated for Best Video at the 1998 New Zealand Music Awards. Lonie had first begun making music videos while playing bass for Supergroove. 

Come Here

Dimmer, Music Video, 2004

At least 3080 Polaroid photographs appear to have been taken for this piece of animated cleverness, which was created by Kelvin Soh and Simon Oosterdijk from Auckland design company The Wilderness. The clip offers viewers a stuttery cavalcade of beautiful faces, including guest vocalist Anika Moa. The series of scrawled numbers visible below the photos give a viewers an effective lesson in how animation — and filmmaking — is ultimately a series of still images, laid in a row. 'Come Here' comes from Dimmer's second album, You've Got to Hear the Music (2004).

Got It Bad

LEISURE, Music Video, 2016

Auckland band LEISURE’s statement on the YouTube page for this song says: "with the world in its current state of flux, sometimes we just need to switch off and float away from it all." The video for the group's first single takes note, as a camera roams through a series of tableaux – from street to bedroom, passing various people chilled to a state of inertia – before following their gaze to the next still life. Directed by Joel Kefali (Royals), the clip won Best Music Video at the 2017 NZ Music Awards. The song featured on supernatural teen TV show Shadowhunters and HBO comedy Insecure.

Just a Little Bit

Kids Of 88, Music Video, 2010

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.

Baked Beans

Mother Goose, Music Video, 1977

Dunedin band Mother Goose scored their biggest hit with this novelty song extolling the previously overlooked romance-promoting qualities of sauced legumes (and won extra marks for avoiding flatulence jokes). The Australian-made video references Queen's pioneering Bohemian Rhapsody clip and features Melbourne trans-sexual drag show performer Renee Scott as the recipient of one of the more bizarre pick-up lines. In his post Mother Goose career, keyboard player Steve Young (the bearded ballerina) directed The Chills' classic Pink Frost music video.

In Love

The Datsuns, Music Video, 2002

The Datsuns came roaring out of Cambridge in 2000 with a hybrid of heavy metal and garage rock that quickly earned them international attention, and a major label deal. For this single from their self-titled debut album, they acquired the services of English music video director Robert Hales (who had worked with Stone Temple Pilots and Nine Inch Nails). For this black and white, live performance video, Hales lets the band’s music and their swaggering energy do the talking (with plenty of slow motion shots to accentuate those long flowing locks).  

Happity

Fatcat & Fishface, Music Video, 2009

The Listener described the child-friendly music of Fatcat & Fishface as sounding “like Tom Waits’ toy cupboard.” ‘Happity’ (from album Meanie) is a bogan twist on Cinderella, with an uncoordinated rabbit from Palmerston North — “the fumbliest, stubbliest bunny of all / His feet are too big and his teeth are too small” — feeling dateless before the Manawatu ball. Made with stop motion animation, the video was directed by Derek Sonic Thunders, who gained notoriety for his video ‘Songs About Drinkin’ and Dyin', in which Action Man and Barbie do unmentionable things.

Nothing's Going To Happen

Tall Dwarfs, Music Video, 1981

Chris Knox mines his immediate, 1981-era surroundings for this elaborate stop-motion clip. Record players go crazy, sleeping bags swallow people, and hardly anyone on screen seems to have a face. On the telly are Springboks and protests, plus the Ready to Roll top 20 countdown. And all this unravels a full two decades before editing programme Final Cut Pro made homespun hip again, and directors like Michel Gondry (The Science of Sleep) started popularising the craft aesthetic. 

One Fell Swoop

Chris Knox, Music Video, 1995

One Fell Swoop offers more DIY ingenuity from the man who has made an art form out of simplicity: a hand hypnotically moves back and forth, revealing a new notepaper lyric with each motion. The result makes for a surprisingly mesmerising video, with interludes of Knox singing in front of a chaotically shifting background seeming startling by comparison. Some neat visual effects near the end leave Knox’s face disappearing into the background, a noticeable leap from the rest of the clip’s lo-fi sensibilities. Knox directed the video with then partner Barbara Ward.