Step into Death and the Maiden's Shadowy World With Their New Video 'Dear ____'

Call it beguiling but there's something about the Dunedin band's dark hypnotism that has us hooked.

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May 22 2015, 5:24am

Dunedin trio Death and the Maiden’s moody self-titled debut album made an impression around these parts when it was released a month ago. There was something about the dark hypnotism that lead to repeat listening and discussions about early Cocteau Twins and who wore black nail polish in Year 10.

So we are chuffed to be premiering the video for “Dear ____”, one of the stand out tracks on the album.

Directed by Erica Sklenars, a performance video artist who has developed an interest in music collaboration, the video features Death and the Maiden’s Lucinda King, meditating and viewing herself though a television screen.

Yes it’s ‘performance video art’ but the kind that will have you continuing to watch.

Noisey: What is that black stuff? Paint/sand?
Lucinda King: Just black acrylic paint! Because the footage is playing backwards it does have a more solid look to it.

The video could be seen as a metaphor for voyeurism and vulnerability or exposure. Or it can be seen as a really cool video. How do you see it?
We really wanted the video to be something quite simple, shooting it more like a moving photograph rather than having a focus on narrative.

The original concept was for Erica to take the footage back to Wellington and distort the image in one take with someone else in the shot. We found the act of manipulating the image in a destructive way with an anonymous persons hands to be sinister, and it conjured up some troubling imagery. As soon as we put me back into the frame with autonomy and control over the distortion of my own image, it overcame these problems and introduced a new relationship and whole new set of ideas.

It's a long track but the video, though very simple, is still captivating.
We wanted it to be one frame, a slowly changing meditative accompaniment to the long duration of the track. The video is made up of two single takes so the actual filming of each take went quickly, however we only had one TV to destroy with magnets and paint, putting pressure on the take and giving it a sense of a one-off performance.

Death and The Maiden’s debut album is available now through Fishrider Records.

Catch them May 23 in Queenstown at the Sherwood.