The bolshy New Zealand band pick their favourite music videos…

Are you a fan of Sonic Youth? A lover of Bikini Kill? Do you like the grunge-but-pop energy of Wolf Alice? If so, it’s time to get acquainted with Miss June – they’re your new favourite band, did you know?

The New Zealanders grabbed our attention with their relentless recent single ‘Best Girl’, a feminist proclamation of self-worth embedded in-between punchy drumming and gurning guitars. We had to learn more, which is why we caught up with guitarist and vocalist Annabel Liddell to discuss the track, visuals and her favourite music videos of all time…

We LOVED your new single ‘Best Girl’ – can you tell us a little about how it came to life?

Thank you! ‘Best Girl’ is a track that I wrote almost entirely by myself before bringing it to the boys. Sometimes it happens like this, other times the boys bring me songs. It’s a very personal track with a lot of feeling in it.

There’s a strong message of self-empowerment in the track that’s really invigorating! What was inspiring you when you were writing these lyrics?

‘Best Girl’ is a song denoting my experiences as a woman growing up and feeling the weight of hostility between women in general. As I grew older and more comfortable in my skin I realised that we are told from birth that in order to be successful and “break through the glass ceiling” we needed to tear down other women. It’s a similar mentality as “there’s only room for one woman on the team”, or “one female artist on the lineup”.

This mentality, often perpetuated by men, sets up an incredibly destructive competitiveness which in fact is just another form of oppression. I think young women everywhere are realising that we are stronger together. That supporting your community and advocating for others only brings everyone more opportunities. That instead of trying to “break the glass ceiling” we need to construct buildings of our own.

The video for ‘Best Girl’ looks a tonne of fun and a good twist on the performance video! Who came up with the concept and how planned was what was going on around you?

The video was shot in a matter of hours in our friend’s backyard. It was really the vision of the director Ch’lita to have it be a one shot video with lots of craziness going on. Danny – the Rick Rubin looking character in the video – has known me since I was 16 and actually recorded our first song ‘Clyde’. Tiger boy is a very cool friend of Ch’lita’s and the dancer is a wonderful drag performer by the name of Eva Lucian. We took two takes to get it right. We blew the fire extinguisher on the first take and only had one more drum skin! So when the extinguisher didn’t work on the second take we knew it had to be the take anyway ha ha.

The single is part of an AA-side with previous release ‘Twitch’, which also has a really great video – almost like a twisted episode of Come Dine With Me. Why are inventive videos an important part of what creates Miss June?

We always work with female directors and often will take lead on the ideas or concepts that they envision from listening to the song. Videos are a strange beast. They are often expensive and it’s very rare that everyone ends up being happy with them. We are glad to have made some fun, creative visuals for our singles thus far! It’s an important snippet in time to what we were like during the release of that song.

What do you have planned next for 2019?

Our debut album Bad Luck Party is out in September through Frenchkiss/The Orchard. We are so, so excited! Plus we are playing Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg in September and another festival in Paris, so we will be back touring very soon!

‘Best Girl/ Twitch’ is available now via Frenchkiss Records/ The Orchard. See Annabel’s favourite videos below!

Bailter Space – ‘Splat’

This video is also a one take video and it is genius. They look so fantastic, I think it was shot in NYC but they are an iconic New Zealand band! It also features my favourite guitar – Rickenbacker.

Goodshirt – ‘Sophie’

Funnily enough this is another one take video (you can really see the influence here haha) Goodshirt is also a great New Zealand band! This video is so well paced and creative. I love the simplicity.

Outkast – ‘Hey Ya!’

This was the first song I learnt on guitar!! I also remember dancing to this music video around my house as a teenager. So so so good.

The Prodigy – ‘Smack My Bitch Up’

This video was banned from MTV probably for good reason hahah. It’s SO GOOD. The plot twist at the end is perfect. It’s difficult to find a version on YouTube unfortunately.

Hurt – ‘Johnny Cash’

This is a Nine Inch Nails track that Rick Rubin is responsible for making Johnny cover. Rick says himself that this is one of those songs that you almost can’t listen to without the video. Johnny Cash sitting in the Cash museum with his daughter. How frail and yet powerful he is. It’s perhaps one of the greatest video/song combinations of all time.