Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders

Marlon Williams

Marlon Williams is an award winning singer-songwriter from the port town of Lyttelton in New Zealand, often described as “the impossible love child of Elvis, Roy Orbison and Townes Van Zandt”. “Each song is a character,” says Marlon Williams of his self-titled solo debut: a remarkably assured and diverse nine-track tapestry, united by one of the most versatile and evocative voices you’ll hear this or any other year. “I don’t really ever sing out of character. Even if it’s a very personal song, once it’s written it doesn’t belong to me.” Combining his family’s Maori upbringing with the vocal epiphanies he discovered in the school choir and then in nearby Christchurch’s cathedral ensemble, the duality informed Williams’ unique journey as a singer to truly inhabit his material. He is known for his majestic rendering of such diverse touchstones as classic orch-pop ballad Lost Without You and conceptual, 1974-vintage nugget Silent Passage (originally by Bob Carpenter, a Canadian of First Nations heritage). These covers blend seamlessly with novelistic noir standouts “Strange Things” and “Dark Child”. “Williams picks his marks and hits them…captivating” – Rolling Stone