"Each song is a character," says Marlon Williams of his self-titled solo debut: a remarkably assured and diverse nine-track tapestry, united by one of the most versatile and evocative voices you'll hear this or any other year. "I don't really ever sing out of character. Even if it's a very personal song, once it's written it doesn't belong to me."
Combining his family's Maori upbringing with the vocal epiphanies he discovered in the school choir and then in nearby Christchurch's cathedral ensemble, the duality informed Williams' unique journey as a singer. He enrolled in the prestigious University of Canterbury, but classical music's institutionalized stuffiness proved too much. The Unfaithful Ways, his band of fellow fallen choirboys, was becoming a hot local live draw.