Dead Oceans is delighted to announce New Zealand-born Marlon Williams will be joining its roster and releasing a new album in early 2016. With one of the purest voices in modern music, and the charisma, individuality and superior stage presence to match, the 24-year old singer, songwriter, and performer will radiate boldly alongside a roster that includes The Tallest Man On Earth, Phosphorescent, Ryley Walker, Julianna Barwick, Kevin Morby, Bill Fay, and more. He is bound to be one of the most talked about new artists of 2016.
And now, a bit of background on how Marlon Williams caught the ears and hearts (and blew the minds) of the folks behind Dead Oceans… Marlon Williams grew up in New Zealand signing in the Christchurch cathedral choir before his father, a Maori punk singer, turned him onto country music in his teens. He founded The Unfaithful Ways at 17 with his high school friends and their science teacher, and quickly gained national attention, playing Big Day Out, touring with Justin Townes Earle, and picking up a Critics Choice award nomination at the 2011 New Zealand Music Awards. That same year, Williams met acclaimed country singer Delaney Davidson, and the pair began performing as a duo. Over two years they released three volumes of the series Sad But True: The Secret History Of Country Music Songwriting, garnering the New Zealand Country Song and Country Album of the Year Awards in 2013.
Williams began performing the odd solo show in late 2012, and relocated to Melbourne to perform as Marlon Williams in mid-2013. He quickly grew a local cult following, which soon grew into a passionate national fan base. 2014 found Williams playing major festivals and making television appearances leading to sold out tours of Australia and New Zealand before heading into the studio to record his debut solo album. Released in his home continent this past spring, Marlon Williams received widespread acclaim, debuting at #4 on the New Zealand charts, and has received nominations at every major awards in Australia and New Zealand this year. In response to a recent show in Sydney, the Sydney Morning Herald glowed “what a terrific show. Fun and funny, sad and blue, it had flashes of modernity amid vast swathes of history and offered up the promise of a future completely unpredictable and completely watchable.” Now it’s time for Marlon Williams to make his mark on the rest of the world.
To understand the captivating essence of Marlon Williams, watch his powerful performance of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “Portrait of a Man” from a performance at the Theatre Royal in Christchurch, and the official video for “Strange Things,” a harmonically and thematically twisted tune off Marlon Williams where the protagonist is driven mad with grief over his lost wife and loneliness.