Dudley Benson

“…one of the most distinctive, singular, and divisive musical figures to emerge within his home country since the dawn of the 21st century.” - The 405

New Zealand’s Dudley Benson is delighted to share his unique musical vision with a European audience as he prepares to release the striking video for single Matariki, out on 19th July 2019 via Golden Retriever Records.

Matariki is due for release while Dudley performs across Europe for the first time, sharing songs from the forthcoming European release of his album Zealandia due for release on 23rd August. Exploring concepts of nationhood, decolonisation and our relationship with nature, Zealandia is an avant-pop manifesto featuring full symphony orchestra, 50-person choir, and beats made from samples of rocks and minerals.

In New Zealand, Matariki is the time of year when the Pleiades constellation appears in the midwinter sky, representing the Maori New Year. Māori see this as a time to think about people in their lives who have passed away, with the Matariki star cluster a channel to communicate with them. 

Dudley Benson draws on these ideas to create a challenging and uplifting piece of pop music, honouring tikanga (Maori custom) that the people we've lost are still with us through the natural world. Delicately weaving images of the night sky with sonic elements of alt-pop, choral, classical and electronic music, Matariki sees Dudley deftly create a deeply personal anthem set amongst the stars.

Working with Tokyo-based New Zealand illustrator Emile Holmewood, Dudley brings Matariki to life through a beguiling visual journey. The video takes inspiration from the research Dudley undertook when making Zealandia, exploring landforms, geology and what we can learn about ourselves from the Earth. As science meets pop, the Matariki video is a passage through time, creation and destruction, and millennia in a few minutes.

Matariki is out on 19th July 2019 and is taken from the album Zealandia due for release in Europe on 23rd August 2019 via Golden Retriever Records.