N IS FOR NEW ZEALAND
I’m so glad I have stopped relying on Pitchfork for music recommendations and just scavenge for things to listen to everywhere I can. And while I can understand why Pitchfork doesn’t write about amazing world artists (anglo myopia is a cousin illness to affluenza), their omission of Marlon Williams (only 1 mention in passing on website) just proves that they’re stupid. But Netflix isn’t, and they had Williams on the soundtrack to Wild Wild Country because his music is just as beautiful and disturbing as the documentary about Bhagwan and Sheela.
Anyway, Marlon Williams has a beautiful and weird voice. And I love nothing more than a beautiful weird voice. I love Nick Cave, I love Roy Orbison, I love Anohni. And Marlon Williams has taken his rightful place in this line of fine singers. He’s dark and brooding like Cave, heavenly and genderless-sounding like Anohni, and does some mean rockabilly when he wants to like Orbison. While everything on the album is delectable, I find the song “Party Boy” to be especially mesmerizing and so deliciously old-fashioned.
To make it even more beautiful, a collaborator of Williams on the album is Aldous Harding, a fellow musician, the break up from whom served as Williams’s fodder for the songwriting. If you’re into benevolent, gentle men just like me, you’ll want to give it a listen. Also, Marlon Williams is Ngāi Tahu, and we should all be supporting more indigenous musicians and people.