Song of the Day: Roma Di Luna – Before I Die

photo by Andy Hardman

This week we’re doing something a little different for our Song of the Day podcasts. We’re teaming up with 89.3 The Current, in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, to swap songs. Like KEXP, The Current is a strong supporter of independent music and their local music scene. Like Seattle, the Twin Cities has always had a strong vibrant local music community. We thought it would be fun to share some of the best new music being created in each city as part of their Local Music Exchange series. Tune in to KEXP at 4:30pm PST each afternoon this week to hear Kevin Cole exchange songs with the Current’s Mark Wheat. We’ll find there’s more to Minnesota music than Prince, Husker Du, and the Replacements. Today’s featured song is “Before I Die” by Roma Di Luna from the 2010 self-released album Then The Morning Came.

Roma Di Luna – Before I Die (MP3)

Despite the Italian/Euro-sounding name, we’re talking about a local band from Minneapolis: Roma Di Luna. What started as a simple folk band led by talented husband-and-wife duo Alexei and Channy Moon Casselle, has now morphed into a full blown seven-piece folk/soul/rock group. Coming from completely different music backgrounds (Alexei, a rapper who uses the stage name Crescent Moon, and Channy, a classically trained violinist) only seems to have strengthened the bond between them and given their music a unique and compassionate sound). Given the ups and downs of the past few years, Then the Morning Came was a way of dealing with their emotions and almost as an exercise in writing songs for each other. Then the Morning Came can be an emotional workout for listeners, but Alexei Casselle thinks it might also have an almost calming effect. “It’s actually a very meditative record,” he said. “For those that want to take the time and actually sit with it, it probably will get better with each listen.” It will also stand for Roma di Luna members as a document of one of the bleakest, and most hopeful, periods in their lives. Our featured song “Before I Die” is a modern re-work of their original 2005 song from their debut album, The Face Of My Friends. It’s a song that hints at living life with no regrets (or at least not taking it for granted), and that in the end, you can’t take it with you. Or something like that.

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