“Listening to Marcos made me feel like I was rediscovering Keith Urban. I couldn’t believe it – Marcos was f*cking cool!”
– José Bulevar, for Sala Galileo TV.
Born in Madrid (Spain) on May 20th 2000, Marcos Cabanas is a native of Rolle (Switzerland) – town in which he first picked up a guitar. Heavily inspired by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, and more recently Chris Stapleton, Cabanas writes about the life and struggles of the common man, inhabiting positions in middle-class, American culture. In a mix of Southern and Heartland Rock, Cabanas was nurtured with the music of older generations, from where his distinct sound has developed. At only 20 years old, Cabanas has already released three studio albums, including The Godfather (2017), and Solitary Nights (2018).
After a ‘semi-break’ from music in 2019, when he left his native Switzerland to pursue an engineering degree in the Netherlands, Cabanas released his third album, titled From the Town of Lincoln, Nebraska, on December 4th 2020. Inspired by the music of John Prine, Colter Wall, and Townes Van Zandt, the acoustic album was recorded in an intentionally lo-fi setting to capture a melancholic feel – an homage to Springsteen’s Nebraska.
Cabanas played what he considers his “first show ever” in 2012, in his native town of Rolle. From then on, he regularly performed at local bars and events. In 2014, his first major-break occured, as he co-headlined the Gilly Pop-Rock Festival, along with Gérald de Palmas and Chi Coltrane. From then on, even without a recorded demo under the arm, he was offered to co-headline multiple different festivals, including the Caribana Festival 2015 (co-headlining with Marilyn Manson, Bastille, John Newman, and Mika among others).
In 2014, Cabanas was awarded the ‘Mérite Rollois’ prize for his contributions to local music.
In 2016, after forming The Attic Band with fellow classmates, Cabanas headed to the studio for the first time, to record what would end up being his first EP, ‘The Godfather’. Recorded in a garage-studio in Geneva, on a very limited budget, and in only two days, this recording proved to be the launch of Cabanas’ international career as his music became increasingly popular in Spain.
The EP contained five songs, all written over the span of 3 years, and focused on the topics of loneliness and abandoning one’s roots, something very prevalent in Cabanas’ life at the time. The EP was released in February 2017. Later that year, in May, The Attic Band played their last performance together, before splitting up – this was due to the majority of the band leaving Switzerland to attend university. That same summer, Cabanas performed his first ever show in Spain, at the Sala Galileo Galilei in Madrid, to a sold-out audience. This marked his first time onstage since the split of The Attic Band. Cabanas also conceded his first TV interview, where he revealed what had led up to and encouraged this performance outside of Switzerland.
Merely 10 months after the release of his first EP, he was back in the studio, but this time in Spain, to record a second album. With the help of producer Raul Puente, as well as José Bulevar, Cabanas managed to assemble a group musicians with backgrounds within the music industry – this included musicians for Jose Luis Perales, Revolver, Lou Marini, and Rosa. In his own words, “Unlike the first EP, where I limited myself to a classic ‘studio-like’ recording, here I’ve tried to maintain the raw, compact sound of a live show – the only way to determine the quality of an artist is through his performance, and a recording doesn’t reflect that. But we can approach that by avoiding Spector-like recordings and additional effects that can’t be recreated in a show. That’s why the EP sounds so raw yet so powerful: guitar, bass, drums, piano, and organ. That’s it.”
The album was completed in 5 months, and was recorded at Iya Estudios (Las Rozas, Spain) and 1180 Studios (Tannay, Switzerland). Solitary Nights was released on June 5th 2018. The album was presented on September 7th, in a sold-out show at the Honky Tonk Bar in Madrid. This day also marked the release of the first physical copies (CD) of the record.
During 2019, Cabanas only played sporadic shows. He later revealed that he had taken time off to focus on other endeavors (including songwriting), but that he had started recording his third album. Titled “From The Town of Lincoln, Nebraska”, the album was released in December 2020, after over one entire year of production.
“This album is my attempt at conveying social stigmas that unfortunately still live amongst us today. I’ve tried to place a little bit of everyone on the record, so that each and every listener will, in one way or another, be able to see himself reflected in the music. It is my personal collection of songs about love, death, and self-reflection.”
Highly inspired by the music of John Prine, Colter Wall, and Townes Van Zandt, the album takes a 180° twist on previous works, to let the stripped-down lyrics do most of the talking, as they become the centerpiece of the record.
Apart from music, Cabanas holds a strong affinity for flight and aeronautics – since 2018, he is studying an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology.