For one year between October 2013-2014, Gabriel Rios posted a song a month on his website. The songs now constitute This Marauder’s Midnight. An illustrated short story was included in the special edition of the record about an infamous serial hair-fetishist in fin de siècle Paris that manages to get himself caught red-handed by an unlikely heroine while trying to obtain yet another trophy for his abominable collection. The Marauder realizes he has broken into the wrong room when he encounters a 10-year-old girl who demands that he tell her a story in exchange for not screaming. Rios says:
I might have gotten a little carried away with this indulgence but it comes close to describing one of the feelings that I both enjoy and dread when writing and performing music: almost on command, a song has to be able to move a stranger.
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Rios was the recipient of various eclectic mixtapes compiled by his father. Paul Simon, The Police, The Beatles, Keith Jarrett, Tom Zé, Willie Colón, and Nina Simone, among others, came out of the speakers at home.
For the latest album, Rios partnered with Ruben Samama, a gifted musician and composer/arranger who joins Rios on double bass and also produced the album. After trying out several line-ups they asked Samama’s wife, the sublime cellist Amber Docters Van Leeuwen, to accompany him on a couple of songs. It quickly became clear that they had found the right instrumentation. The idea then came to make a record with nothing but the three of them playing the songs in a room. This also became the premise for the videos which were directed by Michael Sewandono and consist of the group performing the songs live in an empty venue.
Tour dates are as follows:
- October 24th – Manchester, Albert Hall
- October 25th – Newcastle University
- October 26th – Glasgow, Old Fruitmarket
- October 27th – Leeds University Union
- November 1st – Birmingham, The Institute
- November 3rd – Cardiff, Y Plas
- November 4th – Falmouth, Princess Pavillion
- November 7th – Bristol, Colston Hall
- November 8th – Bournemouth, Old Fire Station
- November 9th – London, The Roundhouse