Marlon Williams' new live album proves he's one of music's most eloquent songwriters

A stunning work from the New Zealand visionary.

In his most generous and revealing effort to date, Williams sings rainy day melancholy for a modern age on this live album. Breathy and alive, if things play out correctly, he could follow kindred spirits to commercial success on an international level. 

It’s a beautifully sounding live record and he acknowledges that this is the largest audience he has ever played before. He displays a penchant for poignant songcraft during tracks like ‘Beautiful Dress’ where he sounds like Antony & The Johnsons. The cult acclaim he has reached should be rewarded and even so early on in his career, this is peak period sound.

Williams is a gifted writer and while you’d be forgiven for thinking that with nearly two dozen tracks he could be chasing his creative tail in circles, he does not do so and introduces cover versions with guile. There is plenty of musical light and shade to be found, although mostly shade, especially with the skewed cuteness of ‘Is Anything Wrong’.

When the band become up-tempo, Williams sounds like a new Elliott Smith without the immersive minimalism. His immense voice dominates the quiet parts and fills every space as he delivers songs with lingering poignancy. Simply, this is emotive mood music which provides a road map for the difficult stuff.