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Lady Midnight performs three songs off debut release 'Death Before Mourning' on the Local Show

Lady Midnight at The Current
Lady Midnight at The CurrentMary Mathis | MPR
  Play Now [4:14]

by Andrea Swensson and Lydia Moran

August 06, 2019

Lady Midnight - Orange Lite
by MPR
Lady Midnight - Say It
by MPR
Lady Midnight - Full Session + Interview
by MPR

Death Before Mourning, released just last May, is the fifth incarnation of the debut solo album from Lady Midnight, a.k.a. Adriana Rimpel. "In order to get a really good sound taste, you have to let things marinate," Rimpel told Local Show host Andrea Swensson in The Current studio last week. "Sometimes you have to make mistakes and throw out the entire pie because you don't know how to make crust yet."

A long-admired veteran in the Twin Cities music scene, Rimpel began her career nine years ago as a vocalist in the Afro-Caribbean group Malamanya, and has since bounced around and beyond the Twin Cities working with acclaimed artists such as Brother Ali, Bon Iver, Common, and Aloe Blacc. Through working with different types of artists and genres and gifting herself with a patience for moving slowly, Lady Midnight was able to come into her own naturally, without the pressure of an album cycle or fame.

"When I felt that everything had a particular spirit, that's how it came to be an album," she said. "What can I add that's different and that's needed?"

In the studio, Lady Midnight played three tranquil, spacious tracks from Death Before Mourning alongside Brandon Mensah on samples, Chris Bierden on bass, Miguel Hurtado on drums, and Ethan Hansen AKA Sen 09 on keys and synths.

Death Before Mourning was made for taking the time to process experiences through osmosis, rather than hasty judgement. The album is built from a desire to heal in the wake of loss, something Rimpel experienced recently within her own family and the families of those close to her. Death, mourning, and transition are given sacred space on the record to allow for deep, internal re-centering within listeners. This process, like the music, cannot happen overnight.

"Take a sip of orange light/ Feel the breeze from the stream," she advises on the song "Orange Lite." "Death below it can't be fast/ Slow and steady steady, keep that."

On Friday night, Lady Midnight will perform at an album release show at the Turf Club along with special guests DJ Keezy, Booboo, and Ziyad.

"I definitely want [audience members] to have an experience that un-grounds them a little," Rimpel said of performing live. "I think there's a lot of stuff that we carry that's so heavy, and so I want there to be this disruption so that they can re-center themselves."

Back in 2016, when Rimpel debuted Lady Midnight at the 7th St Entry with the show "Midnight Special," an acquittance stopped her backstage and imparted a message that's stuck with Rimpel ever since. "You can no longer lead from behind, you have to lead from the front," the woman said. "When you sing and step on stage tonight, sing as if it's only you and the creator."

"If we're all in the room for an intention, there's so much energy and there's so much being focused in one spot," Rimpel said. "I like to be the type of artist to manifest that, and send it somewhere else."

Songs Performed

"Orange Lite"
"Say It"

Hosted by Andrea Swensson
Produced by Jesse Wiza
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Mary Mathis
Web Feature by Lydia Moran