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Jason Molina is an American singer-songwriter, originally from Lorain, Ohio. He first came to prominence performing and recording as Songs: Ohia, both in solo projects and with a rotating cast of musicians. Since 2003, he has recorded either under his own name or with a stable line-up of band members as the Magnolia Electric Co. He has been inactive and absent from the public eye since 2009 due to poor health and is currently working on a farm in West Virginia.
In March 2003, while on tour, Molina announced that he would rename the band as Magnolia Electric Co., retaining many of the original players and the stylistic direction of the album of the same name. Molina would also continue to release solo work, but this time under his own name. The first such release came in January 2004, as the full-length vinyl release Pyramid Electric Co..
Though Magnolia Electric Co. and Pyramid Electric Co. were originally intended as a double album, the latter seems to be the stylistic polar opposite of the former.
Engineered by Mike Mogis, who also engineered Ghost Tropic, Pyramid finds Molina alone at the microphone with only his voice, a piano or a guitar. Magnolia Electric Co.'s first official release was a live album called Trials and Errors, followed by a studio album titled What Comes After The Blues and an EP, Hard To Love a Man, all three released in 2005. In 2006, Molina released two more records: the sparse solo Let Me Go, Let Me Go, Let Me Go and the more conventional Fading Trails, with Magnolia Electric Co., the latter culled from three separate sessions over the past year.
It is not entirely clear when Songs: Ohia became Magnolia Electric Co. In interviews, Jason Molina has claimed that he considered the tenure of Songs: Ohia over after "Didn't It Rain", which would make Magnolia Electric Co. the eponymous debut album under the new name. The name "Songs: Ohia" appears nowhere on the artwork of album and only a promotional sticker on the cellophane wrapping connects it with the prior name. Nevertheless, Secretly Canadian still promotes the album under the Songs: Ohia moniker. On the other hand, the Magnolia Electric Co. live album Trials and Errors was recorded on April 16, 2003 at the Ancienne Belgique club in Brussels, at a time when the band was still touring under the Songs: Ohia name. Pitchfork Media later reported that name change would be made official after the Spanish tour in October 2003.
Officially Songs: Ohia no longer records or performs, and projects have been either marketed as Magnolia Electric Co. or as Jason Molina's solo work. FanartBanner