Rui Gabriel Compassion


The inviting and perceptive songs on Rui Gabriel’s debut LP Compassion all tackle growing up. It’s about how the older you get, your priorities shift, friendships evolve, and responsibilities become inescapable. For Gabriel, the Indiana-based, Venezuela-born artist and co-founder of the acclaimed band Lawn, the changes in his own life inspired him to write a solo full-length that sounds like nothing the indie rock journeyman has done before. Across 10 vibrant tracks that combine ethereal pop with slacker-rock and piano-driven dance music, it’s a galvanizing showcase of personal growth and the grace you give yourself to push forward.

Work on Compassion started in 2018 when Gabriel was living in New Orleans. “I was living a pretty teenage life in many ways,” says Gabriel. “I worked at a pizza restaurant and would just go to shows or parties. I wasn’t doing anything other than music. I didn’t have many responsibilities.” The songs he was working on at the time—tracks that didn’t fit Lawn but Gabriel still liked—initially went unfinished. But as Gabriel’s life changed, so did his songwriting and his desire to see his ideas through. “When I was writing lyrics, I was settling down with my partner and about to become a dad,” says Gabriel. “I was making choices about my life that contradicted the existence I had before. I had a different set of priorities.”

The songs on Compassion deal with youthful carelessness (“Dreamy Boys”) and coming face-to-face with newfound responsibilities (“Change Your Mind”). It’s consistently a biting, observant look at getting older thanks to Gabriel’s unique perspective as a South American immigrant who’s lived across the United States for the past 13 years. “When you are Hispanic, English isn’t your first language, and you’re in a music scene with a bunch of white people, you’re going to stand out a little bit,” he says. On “Church of Nashville,” “Hey, Leonard Cohen is singing poems by the gentrified alley” he humorously aims at scene pretension and industry gatekeepers.

Compared to Gabriel’s work with Lawn, where he writes frenetic post-punk songs and yells, for Compassion he explores more straightforward pop sensibilities and showcases his singing voice. “I wanted to do a solo record to prove to myself that I could sing,” says Gabriel. Take the meditative, piano-based lead single “Target,” which is inspired by Dido and finds Gabriel gorgeously harmonizing with singer Kate Teague. He reaches similar infectiousness on the sunny rocker “Summertime Tiger,” which guests Stef Chura. Co-produced by Gabriel and Nicholas Corson (The Convenience, Video Age), Compassion is consistently warm, generous, colorful, and adventurous.

Compassion is a record about change,” says Gabriel. “It’s a coming-of-age record but for somebody who’s coming of age into their thirties.”


Artist Bio

Rui Gabriel’s journey to become one of indie rock’s most vibrant and perceptive voices is certainly unconventional. Born in Venezuela and raised in Nicaragua, the now-Indiana-based songwriter spent his 20s in New Orleans and playing in beloved bands like Lawn, where he’s a co-songwriter and co-lead singer with Mac Folger. While that band finds the sweet spot between sing-a-long power pop and bracing post-punk, Gabriel’s solo debut Compassion uses a lighter palate that combines ethereal pop with ‘80s synth textures, and slacker-rock charm. The LP is a testament to growing up and Gabriel’s disarming lyrical sensibility. 

Growing up in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, Gabriel had always wanted to be in a band. After attending high school in Nicaragua, he ended up in New Orleans for college. “When I got there, I realized the school was full of kids who were all in bands,” says Gabriel. “Just being around these other artists gave me the confidence to try and do music.” After writing songs with his band Yuppie Teeth, he formed Lawn with Folger and Nicholas Corson in 2016. Their three albums, 2018’s Blood on the Tracks, 2020’s Johnny, and 2022’s Bigger Sprout received raves from Stereogum, VICE, and Bandcamp Daily. 

Major life changes like settling down and becoming a father gave Gabriel newfound dedication as a songwriter. “I had been working on the different iterations of these songs for so long but when I found out I was going to be a dad, I finally got the urgency to finish it,” says Gabriel. “It was very profound to have that moment where you’re like, ‘you’re going to record these songs and finally finish them and then this other new and exciting chapter in your life is going to begin.’” He enlisted Corson to co-produce the material and help flesh out the songs. “This record would not sound the way it does without Nick,” says Gabriel. “He was my rock during this period. He is a masterful arranger and has such a good ear for pop music and noise.” 

Compassion is a reflection of Gabriel’s playful and inviting songwriting but it’s also a collaborative masterclass. Alongside Corson, Gabriel is joined by The Convenience and Video Age’s Duncan Troast, Stef Chura, Kate Teague, and Lawn’s Mac Folger. To Gabriel, the LP is an undeniable document of personal growth. “Compassion is me saying goodbye to the mentality that I had before and hello to becoming an adult,” he says.

Marketing Info

LP: 677517017410
DIG: 677517017458

  • North American publicity by Pitch Perfect PR
  • College, Non-Comm Radio by Terrorbird
  • Co-founder of acclaimed band Lawn
  • Co-produced by Gabriel and Nicholas Corson (The Convenience, Video Age)
  • Music videos for “Target,” “Summertime Tiger,” “Church Of Nashville,” and “Change Your Mind”


1. Dreamy Boys
2. Target
3. Church Of Nashville
4. Hunting Knife
5. Summertime Tiger
6. If You Want It
7. Change Your Mind
8. Eyes Only
9. End Of My Rope
10. Money