Just heard the terribly sad news that one of my favourite artists has passed away , terrible news.
RIP Jason, thanks for all the wonderful music you made and the beautiful songs you left us.
Record company statement :
We are deeply saddened to announce that Jason Andrew Molina passed away in his home in Indianapolis this past Saturday, March 16th of natural causes at age 39. Jason was a world class musician, songwriter & recording artist. He was also a beloved friend. He first caught international attention in 1996 when he began releasing albums under the name Songs: Ohia. In 2003 he started the band Magnolia Electric Co. Between those two bands he released over a dozen critically-acclaimed albums and, starting in 1997, he toured the world every year until he had to stop in 2009 to deal with severe alcoholism. Jason was incredibly humbled by his fans’ support through the years and said that the two most important words he could ever say are “Thank you.”
This is especially hard for us to share. Jason is the cornerstone of Secretly Canadian. Without him there would be no us – plain and simple. His singular, stirring body of work is the foundation upon which all else has been constructed. After hearing and falling in love with the mysterious voice on his debut single “Soul” in early 1996, we approached him about releasing a single on our newly formed label. For some reason he said yes. We drove from Indiana to New York to meet him in person, and he handed us what would become the first of many JMo master tapes. And with the Songs: Ohia One Pronunciation of Glory 7″ we were given a voice as a label. The subsequent self-titled debut was often referred to by fans as The Black Album. Each Songs: Ohia album to follow proved a new, haunting thesis statement from a prodigal songwriter whose voice and soul burned far beyond that of the average twenty-something. There was organ-laced, sepia-toned econimica (1998′s Impala) and charred-hearted, free form balladry (1999′s Axxess and Ace). There were the dark glacial make-out epics of 2000′s The Lioness and the jungle incantations of 2000′s Ghost Tropic. There was the career-defining agnostic’s gospel of 2002′s Didn’t It Rain, an album about setting roots that also seemed to offer solace to a world that had recently seen its bar on terror raised. It was followed in 2003 by a thrilling about-face, the instant classic Magnolia Electric Co., which took Jason’s songwriting to ’70s classic rock heights. The move was such a powerful moment for Molina that Magnolia Electric Co. became the new moniker under which he would perform until 2009. With Magnolia Electric Co., Jason found a brotherhood in his bandmates, with whom he built an incredible live experience and made a truly classic album in Josephine (2009).
We’re going to miss Jason. He was generous. He was a one of a kind. And he had a voice unlike any other.
I was shocked to learn that; I had no idea he was that ill, though he was struggling with chronic alcoholism.
I was an admirer of much of his music.
His Songs: Ohia have affected me deeply and I only play them occasionally so not to diminish their hallowed-ness.
I'm very sorry to hear he's gone.
it is hard to know what to say, with words, the feelings this loss brings up. i had always hoped he would tour again as my son,his girlfriend,and i really wanted to see him live and tell him how much his music meant to us and to offer some support though a difficult time. that chance never came along. the best we could do was to donate to his medical bills which we did,listen to his music,and turn other people onto him.through his music he will always be alive for us. he has left us a treasure trove to continue to enjoy. i share in everyone's grief in the loss of another one of our greats. the world will never be the same without him. jason's music will be an inspiration to those that follow.
I have been in deep sorrow for days now. I've never had an artists death effect me in such a way before. I don't know why, maybe because I'm the same age as him.
My friend Warren who introduced me to his music had these beautiful words to say:
"This morning I awoke to the news that Jason Molina (Songs: Ohia/Magnolia Electric Co.) had died on the weekend at the age of 39: organ failure, they say, the result of years of alcohol abuse. At first my reaction took me by surprise. I was shaking with disbelief as I googled confirmation. Tears welled up, and the left side of my chest began to ache... a sure sign that a part of me was breaking. All this for a guy who, apart from a brief encounter in the Annandale toilets between sets, I had never actually met. Jason's music spoke to me like no other. The Magnolia Electric Co. album literally changed my life. His music mournful and introspective, a unique nod to the past whilst remaining contemporary. His lyrics cryptic and multi-layered. At least that's how they come across. In a relatively recent intereview Jason said that his lyrics have literal meaning. If he's refering to a bridge, he's talking about an actual bridge. Given many of his lyrics refer to ghosts and demons, this confession was all too revealing. A prolific writer, Jason's self-imposed exile in 2009 suggested that those demons and ghosts were getting the better of him. And the longer he stayed away the more certain it appeared he wouldn't be coming back. To some Jason may be little more than a cult-figure. A songwriter who lacked an editor, recording and releasing every chord progression he pieced together. To others though, he was very human. A genuinely gifted songwriter in the spirit of Hank Williams, Townes Van Zandt and Nick Drake. And like those men, Jason has found mortality in his songs. Songs that will drift and float for years to come, finding new listeners with each generation, who will discover his music like treasure in a darkened, long-forgotten attic. I may not have not known Jason personally, but his music told me so much about him, and in so doing, so much about myself. RIP Jason. Farewell Transmission."
It's been heartening to read some of the words on this thread , the man was utterly brilliant and deserves much more recognition. I didn't have many Songs:Ohia albums , except "Magnolia Electric Co", but i have all the albums that came after it. i'll be working my way back now.
Jason Molina was one of my best friends, and i never even met the man.
When you do start working your way backwards to the Songs: Ohia stuff I find the best time to listen to them is late at night....like 2 AM late. Maybe it's raining outside, maybe you have a bottle of opened scotch in front of you.
And no one else around you.