Make way for the first sounds of Marlon Williams’ follow-up to 2018’s award-chowing Make Way for Love! They come in the form of the gorgeous My Boy, a breezy little pearl in Māori strum style, with typically lo-fi hilarious video to match.

But wait! What’s Māori strum? Here’s a brief lesson:

Māori strum is a percussive style of acoustic guitar playing, developed and shaped and performed by the Māori people of New Zealand – though, the way that it has informally seeped into, and been simmered along with, Pākehā (white New Zealander) styles and Polynesian rhythms over the course of decades makes it a multi-dimensional concept. Also fascinating to note: “As with vernacular speech – similarly picked up along the way rather than formally taught – each person’s version tends to have its own accents and inflections,” says Michael Brown (Curator of Music at the National Library of New Zealand) in this excellent article about the technique.

One Pākehā song you may know of which utilises the Māori strum method is Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over, which is cool because there’s a Crowded House bandmember playing on Marlon’s song: Elroy Finn, youngest son of Neil and Sharon, and Crowded House drummer.

Here’s Marlon on his recent obsession with the Māori strum style:

“The urge to turn every song on the planet into a Māori strummer descended on me like a fever sometime during the long and winding tour cycle of Make Way for Love. So writing it into my artistic life became the only way to get the fever to lift.

“I turned up at Mark ‘Merk’ Perkins studio early in 2019 with My Boy and a small handful of other tunes. Some simple songs will try to tempt and lure you into over-complication; this one showed no such insecurities. For the first time in my writing life, it didn’t even demand lyrics in the chorus. It laid itself out, buoyed by its own sailing rhythm and lightness of phrase: Mark and I fleshed out the demo with a simple drumbeat and a whimsical mellotron descant and dinner was largely on the table. Going into Roundhead with Tom and the band, we kept that simplicity, adding only some extra percussion from Elroy Finn and a folk electric guitar solo from Tom.”

The video, meanwhile, was partially shot in Lyttelton Trinity Hall (featuring chorey from Robyn Jordaan) and also features sweaty scenes from Williams’ front yard.

Watch below.

Read our interview with Marlon Williams, all about his most recent album Make Way for Love.