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Above: video for "War Dance" from the album.


DEATH & THE MAIDEN Death & The Maiden


Another joint Fishrider/Occultation release spanning the whole wide world

While travelling through Berlin in 2012, Lucinda King ripped a sketch of a skeleton and a woman from a book, and stored it in her wallet. The piece was Death and the Maiden, a 19th Century engraving by Edvard Munch. It is an artwork steeped in mythology, one which explores the dark bounds between love and death, frailty of beauty, and beauty of decay.

On her return to New Zealand, Lucinda began to make music with Danny Brady. Inspired by the Chromatics, they initially sought to make their own style of hazy Italo-pop. However, as Lucinda’s vocals and basslines melded with Danny’s synth and drum programming, it became evident they were creating something much darker. Soon, the duo welcomed guitarist and drummer Hope Robertson to the fold, and Death and the Maiden was born.

On their debut album, the group craft a shadowy sound world, filled with drowsy mechanical drums, melancholic synth arpeggios, reverb-drenched guitars, and sighing vocal melodies. The combination is both hypnotic and devastating, as Lucinda explores themes of love, loss, and decay, wrapped in tactile electro-acoustic languor that sets teeth on edge. It is fitting that the group recorded the album in the cavernous rooms of Dunedin’s None Gallery, a spiritual home to many of New Zealand’s experimental and electronic upstarts.

Despite the sense of loss and darkness on this record, there is a bittersweet hopefulness at the core. On Dear ____, Lucinda sings of the irreducible distance between the self and desire, with a lyric penned on her flight back from Berlin. Yet Danny and Hope counterpoint this sombre subject matter with soaring sonic beauty, crafting a party record for heartbroken romantics. These striking juxtapositions are evidence that Death and the Maiden are seeking to create a feeling, something that lasts. The result of this effort is a stunning record, one which haunts the listener and demands repeated listens.


Track listing

1. Victory

2. Flowers for the Blind

3. Skulls

4. Civilisation

5. Dear ___

6. War Dance

7. Bioluminescence

Released April 2015

Preorder the album on its own here or together with The Granite Shore LP in various configurations here.

L-R: Danny Brady (synths, programming), Lucinda King (bass, vocals), Hope Robertson (guitar, drums, vocals) [Photo by Esta de Jong]