In Aldous Harding’s latest music video, her long-time directorial collaborator Martin Sagadin has stepped out from behind the camera to show off their beautifully strange dance moves. We talked to Martin about the weird and wonderful reality they and Aldous are creating through music videos.

New Zealand’s folk and indie music is exploding on the international scene with breakout stars like Nadia Reid, Marlon Williams, and Aldous Harding

The visionary behind many of their videos is Solvenian-born, New Zealand based director Martin Sagadin.

Martin got their start in music videos in 2014 with Aldous’s single ‘No Peace’, and the two have continued to collaborate since, co-directing many videos including her hit single ‘The Barrel’. 

Aldous released the music video for her new standalone single ‘Old Peel’ today, a bouncy tune with a video once again helmed by Martin and Aldous.

The big difference this time is Aldous is almost nowhere to be seen in this new video. It focuses instead on the ethereal and chaotic dancing of Martin themself.

Martin says it was Aldous who came to them with the idea, but they still had to audition.

“I just put a phone on a desk and some tights on, and danced with the instructions that Hannah [Aldous] had given me to see if I would be right or good enough.”

Clearly they were, because the ‘Old Peel’ video places them front and centre behind the microphone that is normally Aldous’s. 

“The main thing was to do a chaotic dance that wasn’t necessarily in time, and that kind of interprets the song and the deep intensity of it,” Martin says. “But also, the kind of love it contains. A love for everybody -  for the band, for Aldous, and for everybody.”

Aldous herself is known for her unique dancing and mannerisms. As it was aptly said in the top comment on ‘The Barrel’ music video on her YouTube:

Martin says the goal wasn’t to dance like Aldous, but to bring their own uniqueness to the universe they are building with these videos. ‘The Barrel’ and ‘Old Peel’ are like seperate rooms in the same building, Martin says.

Both of these videos tap into the other-worldliness that Aldous is known for. They present a surreal reality that draws you in with its weirdness.

“We had a conversation about weirdness a long time ago,” Martin says. “Weirdness is defined by a perceived lack of context - the more context you give the less weird things become.”

“Weirdness isn’t in the video. Weirdness is a process that happens in people's heads as they watch it. I don't think the videos are weird, because I know them and know the decision making behind them.”

“Weirdness isn’t the objective, but there is a pretty rigorous process in obscuring the decision making and intentions behind what we are doing, which naturally makes things feel weird or strange.”

You can check out all of Martin’s music videos here. ‘Old Peel’ is a standalone single from Aldous, so no album yet. She is planning an international tour over the next year, but hopefully we can expect another album not too far in the future.