Marlon Williams Leads Fertile Lyttelton Music Scene
There is nothing like some personal trauma to fuel the muse of a songwriter. Acclaimed New Zealand troubadour Marlon Williams, 27, can attest to that, and the results are etched deeply into the grooves of his new album, Make Way For Love. Canadian magazine Exclaim! interviews the musician over the line from his hometown of Lyttelton.
The catalyst for the new record was the end of Williams’ relationship with Aldous Harding, another New Zealand singer-songwriter starting to make a splash on the world stage.
Williams tells the magazine: “This is a very personal record. There is something therapeutic about the writing process, and it felt like it was necessary for me to work a few things out for myself. For the first time in my life I really needed music. I needed my own process of creation as a way of dealing with something.”
The music scene in the small port town of Lyttelton is astonishingly fertile, boasting the likes of Williams, Harding, Delaney Davidson and other emerging talents. It has drawn comparisons to the ‘80s scene in Dunedin that fuelled the Flying Nun label and sound.
“I’m not sure if there is a consistency of styles here in the way the Dunedin sound has,” Williams ponders. “There is too much variety within the scene itself here to be able to pin it down like that. Though maybe if you ask Martin Phillips [leader of the Chills] he’d have said the same thing.
“There is a lot of love in this community, and the artists are amongst my best friends. It is really rewarding seeing many of my friends enjoying success too. It feels like there is a good breadth of talent here.”
Make Way For Love is out on 16 February. Williams is live in Montreal, Canada on 5 March, Toronto on 6 March and Vancouver the following day.
Original article by Kerry Doole, Exclaim!, February 9, 2018.
Photo by Steve Gullick.