Music Review: Who is Gambles?


Elaina Ransford emphatically answers the question, ‘Who is Gambles?’:

I’ve never been that kid that reads Pitchfork religiously, looks at people like they’re morons for not knowing that the latest Fuck Buttons’ album dropped, or owns numerous illegally downloaded discographies of obscure bands.

That said, you’ve probably never heard of Gambles, but he’s the most amazing up-and-coming artist ever.

As someone who listens to about ten musicians total, it’s pretty shocking that I found him when I did. Before I come right out and ask you all to congratulate me, though, I’ll admit that it happened when he started hanging out with my Instagram crush, model/actress/ contributor, Britany Nola/“Pins” – as in “Pins and Gambles” (pictured, below left).

Picture by Eric Ray DavidsonAs with Britany, part of the allure of Gambles is his impeccable style, artistic Instagram vids, general suggestion of culture/intelligence, and background as the web designer behind But what it really comes down to is his music is fucking amazing.

Like all great musicians, his music is about a tortured past: a ruined relationship, lost child, heartbreak, feeling of despair, solitude, regret, etc. He’s said in multiple interviews that his songs are so personal that it’s a painful experience just to sing them again. And you can tell, listening to him, that they are that ripe with feeling.

I never just fall in love with music. I fall in love with the image behind and within the music. I develop crushes on the ugliest of singers – Jackson Brown, anyone? – (though Gambles is decidedly not ugly) and weave narratives and histories together from their music. So it’s hard for me to review or recommend his music without talking about him as a person (persona, rather).

So I’m not even going to try. Here goes: he’s honest, he cares about perfectly tailored clothing, he has a gorgeous apartment in New York with practically floor to ceiling windows, he won’t ever be caught smiling in a picture, he’s intentionally mysterious, he’s madly in love, he walked out on another woman, he’s 31, he’s friends with artists and celebrities all over NY (parenthetically, he was spotted hanging out with Robert Pattinson and a playwright who was briefly rumored to be dating Robert Pattinson), and he writes great songs, plays great guitar, and is a terrific artist.

His EP, Far From Your Arms, is raw, emotional, scratchy, howl-y, passionate, sad, pretty. His recently released single, “So I Cry Out” made me tear up. You can hear it below, and as part of his soon-to-be-released album, Trust. Maybe I spent more time talking about him than his music, but to me, the two are inseparable.


To keep up to date with everything Gambles has got going on, follow him on Facebook



Words by Elaina Ransford. For more stories like this, be sure to follow on Facebook.