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Jason Molina dies

By | Published on Tuesday 19 March 2013

Jason Molina

Jason Molina, frontman of both Magnolia Electric Co and Songs: Ohia, died on Saturday, his label Secretly Canadian confirmed via Twitter yesterday. He was 39. A statement on the Magnolia Electric Co website stated that Molina died of natural causes, though noted the detrimental effects alcoholism had had on him in recent years.

A prolific musician throughout the late 90s and early 2000s particularly, Molina released fourteen studio albums with his various projects, the most recent being last year’s solo album, ‘Autumn Bird Songs’. That, however, had been his first release since 2009, when he released the final Magnolia Electric Co album, ‘Josephine’ and a collaboration with Will Johnson, ‘Molina & Johnson’.

Later that year he cancelled planned tour dates with Johnson, and it was not until 2011 that it was revealed by Secretly Canadian that Molina had spent time in various rehab facilities in the intervening time, asking for donations to his medical fund as the musician had no health insurance.

In a statement yesterday, Secretly Canadian said: “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”.

It continued: “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’ seven-inch we were given a voice as a label”.

It concluded: “We’re going to miss Jason. He was generous. He was a one of a kind. And he had a voice unlike any other”.