Save My Life

Bike, Music Video, 1996

In 1992 songwriter and guitarist Andrew Brough left Straitjacket Fits, determined to perform his own brand of "f***ing uplifting pop music". Three years later he formed Bike with drummer Karl Buckley and bassist Tristan Mason. Debut single 'Save My Life' was a finalist in the APRA Silver Scrolls. Brough was a fan of sunny, West Coast guitar jangle and 'Save My Life' has a bob each way: guitars chime, while a morbid lyric ('Don't you try and save my life /cos' I'm already dead') floats overhead. Director Mark Tierney chooses a dreamy palette which combines orange with monochrome.

Papa People

Bressa Creeting Cake, Music Video, 1997

The original concept for this video involved a girl in love with a wētā. Sadly the wētā has an affair with a horse. Consequently the girl tries to metamorphosise into an insect to be with her love. Bressa Creeting Cake formed in 1991 but with a different name: Breast Secreting Cake. After signing to Flying Nun Records and changing their name, they released their self-titled debut album in 1997. Band members Geoff Maddock and Joel Wilton went onto form Goldenhorse, with writer Kirsten Morrell and guitarist/vocalist Ben King. 

Beatnik

The Clean, Music Video, 1982

A Texan stops by "One Day At The Coffee Bar", and confronted by kaftan wearing, pot smoking beatniks, tries to enjoy a cuppa. Silly costuming, delightful comic timing and hammy performances afford this clip legendary status amongst NZ's finest.

Exit to the City

The D4, Music Video, 2001

This classic video takes a band, then throws them in the back of a moving vehicle as they try to play their song without falling over. Greg Page, a music video veteran ('Verona', 'Stop the Music'), remembers that "the concept was enormous, but sadly unrealised. But what we ended up with was a piece of magic I've never quite been able to reproduce." He talks about making this and another D4 video in a single weekend, here.

Wake Up

Aaradhna, Music Video, 2012

Aaradhna’s third album Treble and Reverb was released on hip hop label Dawn Raid and co-written and produced by P Money and Evan Short (Concord Dawn) — but its “retro/metro” sound channels the glory days of the classic early 60s girl groups rather than more contemporary styles. ‘Wake Up’, the lead-off single, is a bright, sunny song about trying to fix a broken soul. The video — directed by the award-winning Special Problems — nods to the era with an animated symphony of pop-coloured modern household objects happily distracting from the lyric’s call to action.

Like it's Over (featuring Ria Hall)

Stan Walker, Music Video, 2013

In this colourful video Australian Idol victor Stan Walker works his wardrobe and dance moves at the bottom of Auckland's Point Erin Pool, with help from singer (and aunt!) Ria Hall. Director Shae Stirling doubles up the action, thanks to copious use of split screen. Copy written for the video's premiere on website Stuff describes the song as being about knowing that a relationship is over, but trying to keep it going regardless. In the same year Walker made his big screen debut in hit movie Mt Zion, judged The X Factor NZ and opened onstage for Beyoncé. 

Evelyn

Boh Runga, Music Video, 2009

Updated Out Run-style back projection effects give this Tim Van Dammen clip momentum, and along with Boh's seductive performance, drive a terrific song.   "The 1965 mustang was kindly donated for the shoot, which was during the weekend of the 48 Hour Film Festival ... we were asked to turn the playback down about five times by nearby crews trying to get dialogue [for their 48 Hour films] (no hard feelings guys - I hope)." Blur and Sharpen - May 09

A Winter's Tale

The Mockers, Music Video, 1986

Conservation pioneer Richard Henry tried to save the kākāpō from rats and stoats, via an island sanctuary in 1890s Fiordland. His doomed bird rescue efforts might seem an odd subject for a pop ballad. Singer/songwriter Andrew Fagan also included a paean to Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton on 1985 Mockers album Culprit and the King. Fagan argues that adventuring is "naturally something to aspire to. Writing pop songs about it never felt like an issue to me." This performance of the song, directed in a single shot by Brent Hansen, roams a gloomy Avalon studio.

Beers

Deja Voodoo , Music Video, 2004

Life imitated art when Matt Heath and Chris Stapp transformed their Back of the Y house band into a real act. Here they make a determined bid to wrest the drinking anthem crown away from Th’Dudes’ Bliss with their own ode to the amber liquid. Heath and Stapp’s video takes the tribute to the six pack from pained conception through live performance to post gig acoustic sing-along by way of a hail of beer cans. It’s also a chance to revisit tried and true Back of the Y favourites: from flaming helmets and wrestling masks to dodgy stunts and pyrotechnics. 

Standing in this Fire

Anika Moa, Music Video, 2008

Frequent collaborators singer Anika Moa and director Justin Pemberton crossed paths again for the music video of this track, from Moa's 2008 album In Swings the Tide — her first, slightly countrified album for EMI. In a tastefully furnished room, Moa wakes in a bed of chocolate satin sheets, only to find the day is nearly done for her and the mysterious bedmate sleeping next to her. Moa exhorts her lover, “please don't be mean to me 'cos I really tried ...”, before stripping the duvet off the relationship to see what's underneath.