Sweet Disorder

Strawpeople, Music Video, 1995

Strawpeople Paul Casserly and Mark Tierney took themselves to Hong Kong (with guest vocalist Leza Corban) for this video. Corban's jazzy vocal and the chilled beats contrast with the hustle and bustle of the cityscape (still under the flight path of Kai Tak airport at the time). The trumpet is courtesy of Greg Johnson and the sampled voice is Richard Nixon talking to the Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon. Co-written by Tierney and Casserly with Anthony Ioasa, Sweet Disorder won the 1995 APRA Silver Scroll for songwriting, plus the songwriting gong at the 1996 NZ Music Awards.

Heartbroke

Rikki Morris, Music Video, 1990

This soulful despatch from the end of a love affair won Rikki Morris the APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award for 1991. It was produced by his brother Ian (aka Tex Pistol) who contributed a suitably epic 80s drum sound and won himself Engineer of the Year at the NZ Music Awards. The family connection extended to the music video where Rikki’s then wife Debbie Harwood (from When the Cat’s Away) played the former partner in the Super 8 footage (which the pair shot themselves). A stormy surf beach offers an appropriately tempestuous supporting performance.

If I Move to Mars

Thomas Oliver, Music Video, 2015

After winning attention both in The Thomas Oliver Band and with his solo lap steel guitar work, Thomas Oliver took away the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award with 'If I Move to Mars'. The video makes the most of the intragalactic theme, with a Gravity inspired/gravity-defying video made by a pair of effects wizards from Weta Workshop. The visually impressive result sees Oliver in a spacesuit, peacefully orbiting the Earth playing a custom space-guitar as the sun slowly rises behind him.

Dream

Lydia Cole, Music Video, 2015

Lydia Cole's understated yet heartfelt breakup song is accompanied by an equally understated music video. Cole performs in a darkened room which is home to a number of mirrors...plus a man and a woman (possibly the woman who got the guy?). 'Dream' was one of five finalists for the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award, after making it through from an original list of 20. The song was released ahead of Cole's second album The Lay of the Land; after she launched a crowd-funding campaign in September 2015 to help fund it, her target was met in only five days.

Liberty

Greg Johnson, Music Video, 1997

Auckland troubadour Greg Johnson won the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll songwriting award for 1997 with this moody, tortured love song from his fourth album (and first for a major label), Chinese Whispers. The elegant, uncluttered video was directed and edited by Jonathan King. The video was shot in the Auckland suburbs of Newmarket and Parnell. With a narrative straight out of Hitchcock, Johnson is cast as narrator — and both the victim and accomplice of a blonde femme fatale in what appears to be a murder ... with a mysterious handbag the only clue.

Cold

Deep Obsession, Music Video, 1999

‘Cold’ was another number one hit for dance act Deep Obsession. The video (one of two made for this track) arguably takes the title a trifle too little literally: extended studio close-ups of coldly-lit vocalists Zara Clark and Vanessa Kelly in blue eye makeup are contrasted with glimpses of the band performing live. Third member (and later director) Christopher Banks can be seen sporadically. The second of three consecutive chart-toppers for the band, ‘Cold’ saw Banks and Clark nominated for best songwriting at the 2000 NZ Music Awards.

Maybe Tomorrow

Goldenhorse, Music Video, 2003

'Maybe Tomorrow' was the song that opened the door for Goldenhorse. Released in February 2003, the single's mixture of the bittersweet, the nostalgic and the supremely catchy helped make it NZ radio's most played local song that year; it was also a finalist for a Silver Scroll songwriting award. In the video, Kirsten Morrell sings of past and future, sorrow and possible celebration, alongside grainy home movie style images of the band at the beach, and at the mike (possibly in someone's living room). A less popular alternative video for the song featured Morrell singing in the kitchen. 

Pedestrian Support League

Street Chant, Music Video, 2015

With its video filmed in a cramped Auckland flat, 'Pedestrian Support League' was the lead single off Street Chant’s long-awaited second album, Hauora. As the band play on, a psychedelic array of everyday kitchenware flies by in the background. The claustrophobic flat is appropriate — lead singer Emily Littler describes the lyrics as about “just your typical Kiwi shithole flat life filled with paranoia, depression and anxiety.” The album received critical praise upon its release, and the single was was one of five finalists for the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Songwriting award.

See Me Go

The Screaming Meemees, Music Video, 1981

Auckland band The Screaming Meemees shared a 45 with The Newmatics before releasing this infectious ska-pop number which became an 80s classic. In August 1981 it was the first single to enter the NZ Top 20 at No.1 and they were rewarded with a breakneck trip to Wellington for a TVNZ video made at the Avalon Studios. More produced than many early 80s Avalon clips, it comes complete with masks, white roses, pooled water and a stained glass window (perhaps inspired by reports that the ex-Catholic school boys based their early songwriting on hymns).

Drive

Bic Runga, Music Video, 1997

When Bic Runga broke out in 1996, 'Drive' was the lead single from her hit album of the same name. Opting to stay with the simplicity of her original demo clearly paid off: the song earned then 20-year-old Runga the 1996 APRA Silver Scroll Songwriting Award. Director Justin Pemberton wisely creates a video that matches the song. Alternating black and white with colour provides a moody feel without drawing attention to itself, leaving Runga to deliver a delicate performance on a song that would have a major impact on her career.