We fired our laser camera rocket at NYC’s Gambles as he performed ‘So I Cry Out’ at Northern Flower in Manchester.

Right now we’re gonna figure out exactly when Gambles was born. It wasn’t way back when he was a kid when his dad gave him his first guitar, or when he taught himself probably almost a hundred Leonard Cohen songs. And it wasn’t when he and a girl were on the corner of Grand and Mercer in New York City as the sun was sliding down between the buildings and she told him something that would change their lives and months later they would be married—and then it wasn’t later that year when he wasn’t married to anyone.

But by then Gambles was close. Except it wouldn’t be easy. It would take one more year of smoke, a year of telling everyone he’d made a record when he knew he wasn’t in any shape to make anything. And then he found himself a shack on a beach in Costa Rica with a girl he’d just met and a tropical storm hammering the windows and a guitar he probably couldn’t remember picking up, and he was lost n the song and the moment and suddenly she stopped him—and asked him to play that again. That—he says now—was the moment when Gambles was born.

“All my favorite music sends me somewhere new,” he says. “I wanted to make music like that. I didn’t know how but I knew I could know how. It was like a pat on the shoulder when I was doing so miserably all those years, when I’d fail… it’d be like, ‘Not right now. But you will.’” He came home from the tropics to New York City in the fall of 2012. There is a darkness in these songs, just like the time that birthed them: “There’s no safe side,” he sings. “Wherever I stand, I damage.” But in the same way, there’s light and a new beginning waiting.