My Boy

My Boy

Informed equally by his diverse collaborations with the likes of Lorde and Yo-Yo Ma and his increasing work as a screen actor—with roles in A Star Is Born and True History of the Kelly Gang—Marlon Williams borders on chameleonic on his third solo album. The Aotearoa singer-songwriter slips comfortably between genres and personas here, including clear sweet spots for breezy, beachy folk (“Easy Does It,” “Morning Crystals”) and swooning synth-pop (“River Rival,” “Thinking of Nina”). Then there’s the layered funk of “My Heart the Wormhole” and the theatrical crooning of the closing piano ballad “Promises,” a bold reinterpretation of a Barbra Streisand classic written by Barry and Robin Gibb. All of those scene stages show new sides to Williams, offsetting the lonesome country and folk brooding of his previous work. The opening title track even employs a traditional Māori strum style to honor his Ngāi Tahu and Ngāi Tai heritage, all while riding a frisky disco beat and a dreamy falsetto turn from this versatile multi-hyphenate.

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