Jason Molina, the musician and songwriter behind the great Magnolia Electric Co. and Songs: Ohia, passed away on Saturday at 39, Chunklet's Henry Owings reports. Molina had struggled with severe alcoholism, and had released no new recordings since 2009; in 2011 his family held a fundraiser to pay for medical bills he had accrued during treatment for his addiction. The Magnolia Electric Co. Tumblr has a moving memorial:
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.