Music News

Jason Molina of Magnolia Electric Company and Songs: Ohia Passes Away at 39

Melancholic indie-rock bard, Jason Molina, has passed away from complications related to alcoholism at 39. 

As the news makes its away around the internet via news sites, blogs, and status updates, the reaction to his passing has been as emotionally visceral as the songwriter, vocalist and guitarist's prolific catalogue. 

Molina didn't just write songs. He set spiritual despair to music and drafted cryptic lyrics around the audible, beautifully rendered sadness. And subsequently cultivated a cult fan base centered quite heavily around feelings. 

And like the music of so many now-legendary rock stars (Cobain, Curtis, Smith, and on) whose explicit morbidity foreshadowed their own grizzly, self-inflicted demise, Molina's songs -- from the most dramatically sparse Songs: Ohia material to Magnolia's Electric Company's delicately twang-y country-soul-rock -- may be viewed as one career-long suicide note.

However, the spin we prefer relates to the powerful, emotional mysticism Molina invoked. Although sorrow is present down to song structure and the timbre of his signature almost-wimpering vocals, the flagship artist for Canadian label Secretly Canadian was defeating the bleakness described in his songs by channeling the gloom into expressive production. The beauty of how Jason Molina communicated sound and sentiment commandingly defeats the sadness described (and embodied) by the song at hand.

Its a shame that he seemingly unable to come to that realization himself.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matt Preira