David Mirabella, frontman of Rationales and beloved songwriter, has died

There is sad news to announce this Thursday (April 28), as David Mirabellefrontman of The Rationales and one of the city’s most gifted and beloved songwriters, has died.

No further details have been released at press time. The news was confirmed by Mirabella’s younger brother and classmate, Mike, in a Facebook post. It reads: “Today we all lost a brother. I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support for me and my family. David Mirabella was my brother, my best friend, my musical inspiration and a hell of a bandmate! Damn I’m gonna miss you so much. Rest well big brother!”

Mirabella and The Rationales were mainstays of the Boston music scene for 15 years, releasing two albums – 2011 The distance between and 2017 Upstream – as well as a handful of singles and EPs. They were nominated for American Act of the Year at the 2017 and 2018 Boston Music Awards, and “Ready To Go” was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2018 BMAs. Singer and guitarist, Mirabella has released an EP solo in 2020 titled Laugh upside downa collection of unreleased recordings.

That same year, Mirabella’s efforts to livestream a new song every day during the pandemic was cited in our Year in Review coverage as one of “20 Things in Music to Feel Good” for a tough time for live music and performers. His daily performances have been a source of light and hope for many.

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“David Mirabella’s live song-streaming performance series is central to Boston’s musical vitality,” we wrote. “The Rationales frontman and solo artist played music every day on his personal Facebook page – 275 one-song shows, to date – mixing his own stuff with a wide range of covers from locals (GHOST GRL, Bill Janovitz, O Positive) to nationals (Radiohead, AA Bondy, Death Cab). And it all happens in his wood-panelled basement.

While running Mirabella that summer, Brendan Boogie wrote, “This simple act of musical service not only highlights Dave’s immense talent and love for music, but also demonstrates how much of a solid human being. If there’s one guy you can count on to never let you down, it’s Dave Mirabella.

As news of his passing circulated on Thursday, many in the music scene offered their condolences on Facebook to a friend, colleague and musician. Mirabella was praised both for his musical talents and for the type of person he was.

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“You will never find a sweeter, gentler, more genuine soul,” wrote Chris McManus. “Generous, enthusiastic and energetic.” Sean O’Brien added: “So heartbreaking to hear of the passing of David Mirabella of The Rationales. A gifted songwriter, a gentle soul and a truly kind person. My thoughts are with all of his many friends and family. A really sad loss.

Photographer Matt Lambert described Mirabella as “an incredible human being…who will be sorely missed by all who knew him and by the Boston music scene as a whole.”

Take a spin with some of The Rationale’s tracks below. TO TEAR.

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