My Boy | Marlon Williams new album

Thursday 14 July 2022

Beloved singer-songwriter Marlon Williams presents “River Rival,” the whirring new single from his forthcoming album My Boy, out September 9th on Universal Music NZ. “River Rival” follows “Thinking of Nina” and the previously shared title track, “a sun-dappled dream of a song” (PAPER), and further cement My Boy as the sound of Williams emerging anew. “River rival // No survival,” he haunts atop pulsating synths before charging into soaring arpeggios. “It’s a mirror more than you know.”

“This tune began with an idle Google search. The Latin noun ‘rivals’ means people competing for the same source of water. That got me excited and seemed to hit upon a central occupation of the record as a whole. Resource scarcity, very generally construed, is at the heart of the most conflict: economically, materially, and socially. Musically, it started out as a bleary-eyed Nick Drake-Esque acoustic rambler but somehow, perhaps counterintuitively, it felt too heavy that way so with a bit of fussing and redressing (largely in pre-production with Mark Perkins) it gradually morphed into the cyclical synth rock-roller before you. Under Tom Healy’s guiding hand, Cass (Basil) and Paul (Taylor) then built up the rhythmic intensity, each stanza pushing the point a little more urgently every time.

“I reconnected with my buddy and ‘ Vampire Again’ collaborator Steve Gullick to make the video in a studio in Cambridge while on the recent tour with Lorde. I was so tired I couldn’t be bothered blinking.” - Marlon Williams

Over the last four years, Williams has forged a fledgling acting career and become an in-demand collaborator, recently touring alongside Lorde throughout Europe and the UK and performing a stunning version of her song Mata Kohoto (Stoned at The Nail Salon) together live. 

The new album My Boy parlays this flush of experience into a vivid, dynamic record as spirited, complex, and kinetic as the unfolding life of its performer. “I’ve always explored different character elements in my music,” says Williams. “And I think the more I get into acting, the more tricks I’m learning about representation and presentation. I’m trying to make my worlds feed into each other as much as possible. To get braver and bolder with exploring shifting contexts and new ways of doing things.” My Boy does – it sees Williams firmly having fun, even while interrogating the behaviours of himself and those around him.

This September, Williams will embark on a full North American and European Tour. New Zealand/ Australia tour dates will be announced for 2023.