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Under the Milky Way

Strawpeople, Music Video, 1994

Stephanie Tauevihi (Shortland Street) was vocalist of choice on this cover of Australian band The Church's biggest hit. Strawpeople founders Paul Casserly and Mark Tierney cast themselves in unlikely roles as guitarists, and share the directing duties on this typically stylish video. It captures the song’s sense of emptiness and disconnection in its tale of an astronaut’s love (although the song’s original inspiration was an Amsterdam club, not the astral Milky Way). The woman in spectacles with the mysterious office machine is played by DJ/actor Phoebe Falconer.

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Beth

Voom, Music Video, 1994

A song about how hard it is to say goodbye, 'Beth' became a student radio fave and has been known to make some listeners feel a little teary. Perhaps sensing the potential for emotional meltdown, the makers of the music video introduce a touch of the oddball, with Voom long-stayer Buzz Moller flying to the moon in his pyjamas and meeting the rest of the band in an underground cavern, all the while addressing his beloved, “who went to Australia”. Moller finds his guitar in time for the amped up, I still care about you climax. The track is sometimes titled ‘Beth’s Song’.

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Sex and Agriculture

The Exponents / The Dance Exponents, Music Video, 1984

Dance Exponents were the crown princes of NZ pop when they released this left field follow-up to their very successful debut album. ‘Sex and Agriculture’ introduced new guitarist Chris Sheehan and marked a major departure from hook-filled pop songs into harder, noisier territory. A rhythmic, driving soundtrack punctuated by Sheehan’s atmospheric guitar undercuts lyrics that could describe a rural idyll. Jordan Luck grows increasingly desperate in this shadowy, constricted TVNZ video which echoes the song’s dark claustrophobic sense of rural dread.

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F.R.E.S.H

Scribe, Music Video, 2007

The promo for F.R.E.S.H. ("Forever Rhyming Eternally Saving Hip hop") is set 'Somewhere in Canterbury' and sets off a breakneck clip: around 100 cuts in the first 60 seconds. The costuming, set changes and colour palette are dynamic; the nods to Scribe’s mainland hometown are many. How many times do you hear the director namechecked in a song? Not many. Chris Graham's sense of pace, timing and cheeky lightheartedness — there's even a coconuts-as-horse-hooves rhythm section — propel the hip hop crusader and his horsemen into the stratosphere.

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Phil's Disease (Day 4)

Tall Dwarfs, Music Video, 1984

Being one of Tall Dwarfs’ more experimental tracks, it probably makes sense that the accompanying video would be as perplexing. Chris Knox shows his penchant for bizarre DIY animation as line drawings of creatures morph into lines of lyrics, then into human figures who keep losing their heads. The song itself does little to provide any easy answers, the minimal vocals rumbling out of a swamp of muddy riffs. Both 'Disease Day' songs appeared on 1984 EP Slugbucket Hairybreath Monster, which website All Music called "another chillingly perfect gem". 

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Fool's Love

Misfits of Science, Music Video, 2003

‘Fool’s Love’ was a chart topping debut for Misfits of Science — Auckland hip hoppers who were determined not to be carbon copy gangster rappers (and possessed of a sense of fun that wouldn’t let them). This song about “people in love with themselves” (complete with Doris Day sample) gets an award-winning (Best Video at the 2004 bNets and Juice TV Awards) treatment from directors Shane Mason and Mark Trethewey. The stock hip hop clichés (cars, booty girls and cash) are present but undermined by those oversized heads and the natural humour of the Misfits.

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Scorpio Girls

Supergroove, Music Video, 1993

Supergroove's 'Scorpio Girls' hit number three on the NZ charts in 1993 and was the band's first single to attain gold record status. It was also included as the opening track on their 1994 debut album Traction. The video, directed by Supergroove bass player Joe Lonie, translates the band's sense of fun and boundless energy to the small screen, combining live performance clips with footage of the band members, armed with torches and running through the old tunnels at North Head on Auckland's North Shore.

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Any Day of the Week

The Crocodiles, Music Video, 1979

Possibly channelling the final rooftop concert by The Beatles (a number of The Crocodiles were big Beatles fans), this up-on-the roof video was self-produced by The Crocodiles. It marked Fane Flaws first directing credit — made, with fine business sense, for a song that was never released as a single. The location was near Parliament, with the high shots coming from an unauthorised trip to the top of a nearby Government high-rise. Vocalist Jenny Morris and drummer Bruno Lawrence play ill-matched lovers — as they would do in the video for breakthrough Crocodiles hit 'Tears'.

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Donde Esta La Pollo

Headless Chickens, Music Video, 1992

Headless Chickens were a rogue electronic act on the traditionally guitar-dominated Flying Nun label, so it makes sense that this Chickens video would be equally outlandish. Inspired by both the Mexican Day of the Dead and Eastern European circus traditions, it has the band dressed as gypsies, beckoning us towards the chaotic carnival which they inhabit. Accompanying the band are a brigade of performers, including knife throwers and stilt walkers, only adding to the surreal feel.

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Su'Amalie / Ain't Mad at You

Tha Feelstyle, Music Video, 2004

Shot on location, this gleeful clip could double as a travel promo for beautiful Samoa. In the absence of special effects, the video radiates warmth and sincerity, aided by remarkably slick editing and a cheeky sense of humour. Director Chris Graham also helmed clips for hip hop classics 'Brother' and 'Not Many'.