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Songs: Ohia

Songs: Ohia was one man -- Jason Molina -- a tenor guitar-wielding songwriter from the shores of Lake Erie. Critics often compare Songs: Ohia to Palace/Will Oldham, and while sonically the comparison is valid, Molina's ardent, soul-searching lyrics were more aptly compared to Neil Young or Leonard Cohen. Molina was born in Lorain, Ohio. Growing up on a heavy dosage of Black Sabbath, Molina began his musical career playing bass in heavy metal bands around Cleveland. Always a songwriter, Molina eventually decided to perform and record solo with help as needed. He developed a method of tuning his guitar that complemented his voice and worked with his background as a bass player. Finding his niche in indie rock circles, Molina made home recordings under the names Songs: Albian, Songs: Radix, and Songs: Unitas to pass out at live shows. Settling on Songs: Ohia, Molina released a single on the Palace label in 1996. The first Songs: Ohia full-length followed in 1997; released on the Secretly Canadian label, the self-titled album garnered critical acclaim. Songs: Ohia continued to release full-length albums -- including 1998's Impala and 1999's Axxess & Ace -- and a number of singles on various American and European labels, and won a large following in many European countries, most notably Holland and Germany.

In 2000, Songs: Ohia released two albums, The Lioness and Ghost Tropic, which featured musical assistance from Alasdair Roberts (Appendix Out) and Shane Aspegren (Lullaby for the Working Class); the latter album saw Molina beginning to incorporate ethnic musics into his compositions. After the limited-edition, tour-only CD Protection Spells, Songs: Ohia released its first live set in late 2001. Documenting an Italian show from the previous year, a large part of Mi Sei Apparso Come un Fantasma (You Come to Me as a Ghost) consisted of unreleased (and as yet untitled) songs. By this time, Jason Molina had given his tenor guitar a rest in favor of a regular six-string instrument and had put together a full band to back him. However, 2002's Didn't it Rain found Molina working with members of neo-bluegrass outfit Jim & Jennie & the Pinetops, achieving an almost gospel sound that was a vast departure from the dense feel of Ghost Tropic.

Constantly recording and writing new songs, Songs: Ohia released a handful of singles and EPs in 2002, including a split EP with Louisville's My Morning Jacket and a collaborative EP (under the name Amalgamated Sons of Rest) with Will Oldham and Ali Roberts. Pyramid Electric Co. and Magnolia Electric Co., originally conceived as a double album, were released separately in early 2003. The former, a sparse solo album, was recorded with Mike Mogis (from Lullaby for the Working Class) while the latter featured a full band and was recorded by Steve Albini. Sadly, Jason Molina suffered from alcoholism for years, which ultimately led to his death from organ failure in March 2013 at the age of 39. ~ Jason Nickey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Wow what soulful heart felt music. I recently discovered magnolia electric CO. Molina's voice is haunting , I can't stop listening.
Molina gotten me Thur a lot, my uncle died like a week before he did, sad he's gone but at least I still got Dave bazan to listen to!!!
Love this man. He sings strate from the heart
One of the most underrated modern songwriters.
jshreadingto n
Molina got me through my mothers death when I was 18. Thank you for your music friend.
very sad to hear he died
glad to hear he's putting out music again
Wow. Such a refreshing change of pace from my normal Pandora meanderings. . .
less troubling than palace/will oldham :p
kseale53
I too am sorry I have but 2 thumbs to give!
mix of Bright Eyes and grunge.
diaquinta
love it love it
lioness is one of the best love songs ever.
Oh man, Wes Walker, you think he sounds like Don Chafer? I don't see it, but to each his own. All I know is this songs makes me want to cram sharp objects in my ears... This guy can't sing.
wesleywalker
Kind of sounds like the dude from Water Deep (if you're familiar with coffee house christian music)
kinda sounds like John Fruscainte.. i like it
pedja.ilic
Well, my say is that for some reason, my station "Elect the Dead" has chosen this song, and I got kinda hooked to it... I like huge jumps in tonality, still being able to incorporate it into the sound fable... Not bad at all...
This cat has soul. Bursting at the seams in fact.
bromide01
I keep giving this the "thumbs down", but Pandora won't stop playing it.
jason molina and everyone he chooses to work with is absolutely amazing!
chipollini
Can't believe such beauty could come from the dreary rusty shell of my hometown county of Lorain . . .
By far one of my favorite bands. Go to youtube and search for "Cabwaylingo . " There is a great performance from early days of a show at Fritz's Corner in Stockholm... a m a z i n g .Magnolia Electric Co. has continued the legacy
This man got me through the rough spots until the drugs kicked in. I can't imagine liking music more
I haven't decided who the next Bob Dylan is, Jason Molina or Jim James.
.
patrish11
A moving piece--- Blue Factory Flame
Will be exploring this artist more.

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