New Zealand singer-songwriter Marlon Williams presents “River Rival,” the whirring new single from his forthcoming album My Boy, out September 9th on Dead Oceans. “River Rival” follows “Thinking of Nina” and the previously shared title track.
“This tune began with an idle Google search. The Latin noun ‘rivalis’ means people competing for the same source of water. That got me excited and seemed to hit upon a central occupation of the record as a whole. Resource scarcity, very generally construed, is at the heart of most conflict: economically, materially, socially. Musically, it started out as a bleary-eyed Nick Drake-esque acoustic rambler but somehow, perhaps counterintuitively, it felt too heavy that way so with a bit of fussing and redressing (largely in pre-production with Mark Perkins) it gradually morphed into the cyclical synth rock-roller before you. Under Tom Healy’s guiding hand, Cass (Basil) and Paul (Taylor) then built up the rhythmic intensity, each stanza pushing the point a little more urgently every time
“I reconnected with my buddy and ‘Vampire Again’ collaborator Steve Gullick to make the video in a studio in Cambridge while on the recent tour with Lorde. I was so tired I couldn’t be bothered blinking.” – Marlon Williams