There’s a hint of the romantic in singer/songwriter, Adrian Hoffmann. For him, the idea of complete strangers coming together to be united by a musician performing on a stage or in the corner still fills this young veteran with a sense of excitement.
It’s a fascination that has seen Hoffmann release an EP and two albums with his band, The Morning Night, tour Australia and Europe with the likes of The Triffids and The Church’s Steve Kilbey, and establish a solo career.
For all his life music has meant family and community to Hoffmann. As an infant in the early ‘90s, his father was the drummer for Perth band No Flowers No Wedding Dress and the family lounge room equally served as the band’s rehearsal space. However, these events were more than merely formal rehearsals, barbecues and all-night singalongs saw him soaking in the midst of a rarefied creative and sharing environment that would have an influence on Hoffmann for the rest of his life.
Encouraged by the musical connectivity of family and friends, Hoffmann found himself gravitating to guitar and vocals, as he admired the way that the singers could drive the direction of those singalong jams.
By his mid-teens, Hoffmann had formed his first band, Empty State, who would release a debut EP before becoming known as The Morning Night. In the midst of the band signing to an independent label, finding management and gigging around Perth, the father/son team flew to Sydney to see The Triffids’ A Secret In The Shape Of A Song celebration of the music of David McComb. A shy introduction led to a friendship with Triffid’s collaborator James Patterson who in turn introduced Hoffmann to producer Ricky Maymi (The Brian Jonestown Massacre) - who would go on to produce The Morning Night’s two albums - and then to Triffids’ pedal steel player, Graham Lee.
Impressed by Hoffmann’s passion for music, he invited the young singer/songwriter to perform the song Bad Timing when The Triffids brought Secret In The Shape Of A Song to their hometown of Perth.
These experiences – his icons became his bandmates for a time and his friends for life - cemented Hoffmann’s (creative) identity.
The Morning Night continued for several years, releasing the Decide What You Want EP and two albums, Otis (2011) and Amberola (2013) with Maymi producing, both of which received 4-star reviews in The Australian. However, Hoffmann says that the outfit was more “the idea of a band” than an actual one, given it was he and Maymi at the creative core with changing members and elements around it. A solo career was beckoning…
In 2015 Hoffmann embarked on his solo career… as Marley Wynn. It’s a nod to the name of a band for whom his grandmother played piano accordion in the 1950s, The Marliwyn Trio.
Hoffmann reconvened with Maymi for the first Marley Wynn album, 2017’s 25 Bruised Boysenberry Avenue, a release which saw Hoffmann experiment with his vocals while the music ventured in a jazz/blues direction. His next LP - due for release in 2022 - embraces all that he loves about music, with hints of The Byrds, George Harrison, Nick Cave and Hoffmann’s all-timers, The Triffids and The Church.
“Melody is my main vibe,” he notes, “it’s what I go for, to hypnotise the listener and draw them in. It’s diverse… a lot of colour, that’s for sure.
“I’m connecting more deeply with my lyrics and being more intentional with how things are created and composed,” Hoffmann concludes. “Hopefully it encourages other people to let loose a bit.”