Mimi Parker, A Vocalist & Drummer for Low, dies at 55

According to her husband and bandmate Alan Sparhawk, Mimi Parker, the drummer, vocalist, and composer for the Minnesota indie band Low, has passed away. In December 2020, Parker received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. The band’s management acknowledged that she was 55 years old.

The band shared the news on social media.

“Friends, it’s hard to put the universe into language and into a short message, but She passed away last night, surrounded by family and love, including yours. Keep her name close and sacred. Share this moment with someone who needs you. Love is indeed the most important thing.”

Following the news, a number of live performances were postponed because of worries about Parker’s health. Parker received her ovarian cancer diagnosis in the latter part of 2020, started treatment in 2021, and made her health status public in a podcast interview at the beginning of 2022.

Tributes to Mimi Parker.

Many of the band’s peers paid tribute online.

“I heard the news in the most base circumstances, surrounded by degenerates, stuck and cursing, in a conference room in Deerfield,” wrote producer Steve Albini, who worked with the band on the 1996 Transmission EP and the albums Secret Name (1999) and Things We Lost in the Fire (2001). “I was momentarily overwhelmed, the sound of her voice resonant in my memory, beautiful and heartbreaking. Godspeed Mimi Parker. Requiescat.”

Beak>, the Bristol trio led by Geoff Barrow, also of Portishead, said:

“We can’t express how saddened we are of this news. Mimi & Alan have created some of the greatest music of our time and to have spent time with them was a very humbling experience for us. A beautiful couple. Our thoughts are with Alan and their family.”

Mimi Parker’s career.

Parker was born in 1967 and raised in a small Minnesotan hamlet near Bemidji. She started playing around with music at a young age, creating harmonies to go with her sister’s guitar and lead vocals. The gospel and old country songs that their parents had introduced to them were being sung along to by the duo.

Parker later told Stereogum that during this time, music served as “a solace, a place of escape.” She participated in both a marching band and a concert band while in high school.

Mimi Parker Family

Prior to forming Low with bassist John Nichols in 1993, Parker and Alan Sparhawk met while attending primary school. She began by using brushes rather than drumsticks and a basic drum set consisting of a snare, cymbal, and floor tom. I Could Live in Hope, the group’s debut album, was released in 1994 and later appeared on Pitchfork’s 1999 list of the finest albums of the decade.

Parker and Sparhawk held the reins throughout Low’s nearly 30-year history, despite the band’s fluctuating lineup of additional musicians.

One of the most innovative and accomplished names in indie rock, Low is known for its slow, sparse arrangements and frequently silent delivery. The band is known for creating a softer alternative to the heavy, grunge-oriented sounds of the 1990s. They are also known for being part of the “slowcore” rock subgenre, despite the fact that some of their members have publicly disapproved of the term.

EP Christmas

The 29-year career of Low has seen the release of 13 full-length studio albums. The band has used a variety of styles throughout its record while still retaining its unique aural identity. One of the most cherished indie-rock interpretations of holiday music is found on their 1999 EP Christmas, which helped the band gain more recognition when it was used in a Gap clothes commercial.

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After experimenting with electronic music and digital manipulation on the 1999 album Secret Name, the band made further forays into these genres on their two most recent LPs, Double Negative and Hey What, which got released by Sub Pop in 2018 and 2021, respectively. These albums were praised as magnificent career reinventions.

Mimi Parker’s husband.

Mimi Parker was married to her husband Alan Sparhawk, with whom she founded the band Low in the 1990s. She and Alan were schoolmates turned bandmates and then got married. The couple has 2 children; Hollis and Cyrus.

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