Make Way For Love sees a developing Marlon Williams moving away from his country typecast. The New Zealand native songwriter experiments with a more expansive sound, introducing strings, reverb and more dynamic guitar work along with the odd piano-led tune. It was partly recorded in his hometown of Lyttelton, New Zealand with fellow singer/songwriter Ben Edwards before moving the whole shebang to California where Noah Georgeson took the helm and recorded the lion’s share. Limited ‘indies only’ white vinyl LP (be quick if you want one of those!), standard black vinyl LP and CD on Dead Oceans.
7/10 Robin Staff review, 14 February 2018
Who like rich voices, bobbing basslines and an appropriate amount of string swells? I do. For you see, melancholic music is good. Marlon Williams makes it and few understand it better -- obsessed with a tradition of country and blues crooners, he asks you to ‘Make Way For Love’ while actually spending his time lamenting being in proximity to it.
There are plenty of indie singers who have reinvented these classic melodic idioms for us kids of now -- Marlon Williams’ use of a brooding rhythm section, a generous sloshing of twang and a chill type of devastation most immediately reminds me of Angel Olsen. “What’s Chasing You” uses its old-school harmonies to conjure up new, if not entirely modern, emotions, while “Can I Call You” goes gloomy in a waltz-for-one that walks straight out of the building with its bass line.
It’s clean as a whistle and uses all that open space to mope around. I mean, for one thing, there’s literally a song called “Love Is a Terrible Thing” -- a haughty piano ballad (with an odd moment of moog), that brings the record to a crashing halt, it stands as a nice example of Marlon Williams is, more than anything, attached to a persona. It gets results, though.
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