When: Wed., Feb. 10, 8 p.m. 2016
The down-under media seems to consider New Zealander Marlon Williams a country singer, and with its fast-rolling two-beat shuffle, “Hello Miss Lonesome,” the opening track from his forthcoming eponymous debut album on Dead Oceans, does sound like a jacked-up Marty Robbins jam. But the music feels mostly like “country” rather than anything authentic, though as the album unfolds, Williams shows that one of his greatest skills is role-playing. Over lean, efficient, and richly atmospheric settings, Williams croons hooky melodies that combine the ethereal richness of Roy Orbison and the lounge-lizard sleaze of Timber Timbre’s Taylor Kirk. An overwhelming gloom characterizes many of his songs: “Dark Child” is about parents burying their fallen son, while “I’m Lost Without You” focuses on the threat of heartbreak turning violent. So while I may not be certain who Marlon Williams is, I sure have enjoyed his characters here.