Marlon Williams’ Groovy New Single Warns “Don’t Go Back” to the Party

Nothing good ever happens after midnight, or so warns Marlon Williams’ recently released single “Don’t Go Back.”

Videos by American Songwriter

From the New Zealand crooner’s forthcoming album, My Boy, the sultry track is full of slick grooves and glittery guitar strums paired with Williams’ velvety voice for a dance-inducing good time, whether you go back to the party or not.

“There are a lot of New Romantic influences in ‘Don’t Go Back,'” says Williams. “I love the songwriting and over-the-topness of bands like Duran Duran. I was too young to have a sense of it the first time around, but at least to the modern ear there’s a silliness to the pathos in that music that definitely had an influence on the tone of the record.”

The single was recorded in a house, North of Auckland, surrounded by the native New Zealand ruru, a small brown owl known as guardians of the night, whose calls warn of good or evil. Williams was inspired by their deafening hoot and crafted a synth sound for “Don’t Go Back” that mirrored the birds’ cries. On the track, Williams sings “Tērā te tangi a te ruru,” which translates to “That’s the cry of the owl.”

For the song’s video companion, Williams calls back to the ‘party boy’ character from his 2018 Make Way For Love. “It closely follows the narrative of the song, best summed up in the hackneyed old adage ‘nothing good happens after midnight,'” Williams explains of the self-directed music video. It depicts the singer looking sleazy in a velour tracksuit, flanked by dancers in animal print spandex.

“I play a sort of furry guardian angel (inspired very loosely by Frank the Rabbit from Donnie Darko), who leans on his young charge to turn away from the debauched scene of a house party and head back home,” adds Williams. “The young man heads in anyways and checks it out before pretty promptly deciding to heed the advice and get the hell out of dodge.”

His seventh studio album, My Boy, is set for release this Friday, September 9. The project finds Williams, accompanied by a new band, hopping from genre to genre with the cheery title track, the ‘80s-inspired “Thinking Of Nina,” the synth-heavy “River Rival,” and more.

On the heels of the album’s release, Williams will embark on an extensive tour with a North American run, beginning Sept. 13 in Boston, Massachusetts.


Tue. Sep. 13 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair *

Thu. Sep. 15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Made *

Fri. Sep. 16 – Washington, DC @ The Miracle Theater *

Sat. Sep. 17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s *

Mon. Sep. 19 – Toronto, ON @ The Great Hall *

Wed. Sep. 21 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall *

Thu. Sep. 22 – Minneapolis, MN @ Turf Club *

Sat. Sep. 24 – Denver, CO @ Lost Lake ^

Tue. Sep. 27 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern ^

Wed. Sep. 28 – Vancouver, BC @ Hollywood Theater ^

Thu. Sep. 29 – Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater ^

Mon. Oct. 3 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Troubadour ^

* = with Jo Schornikow

^ = with Merk

Photo of Marlon Williams Courtesy Pitch Perfect PR

Leave a Reply

Review: Afghan Whigs are Innovative and Inventive on Latest Offering, ‘How Do You Burn’