INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Singer/songwriter Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. has died, CNN’s confirmed. He was 39.
A statement posted by his record label, Secretly Canadian, on Magnolia Electric’s website says that Molina passed away of natural causes on Saturday at his home in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The industrious musician began his career in 1996, when he was releasing his work under the name Songs: Ohia. The 2003 album “Magnolia Electric Co.” was a “thrilling about-face,” Secretly Canadian says, and CNN’s Mark Morgenstein called the disc “the album on which Molina perfected his hybrid of classic rock and alt-country,” naming “Magnolia Electric Co.” one of the 10 best albums of the decade.
For Molina, the album was such a “powerful moment” that he began to release work under that name.
“Jason is the cornerstone of Secretly Canadian,” the label says in the statement. “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.”
Molina also toured the globe regularly until his struggle with severe alcoholism brought that to a halt in 2009. For the next two years, Molina was in and out of rehab facilities, and his family set up a medical fund for interested parties to assist the artist, who lacked medical insurance.
Molina spoke about his efforts to recover in 2012, writing in a note on his group’s website that May that “for the time being I am doing well, still in recovery and still in treatment until probably the summer does its thing. … Treatment is good, getting to deal with a lot of things that even the music didn’t want to.”
“I have not given up because you, my friends have not given up on me,” he went on. “I do still need your support however that takes shape, good vibes are worth more than you might think. Finally, there are actually some musical projects on the distant radar screen, but for those who understand, I am taking this in much smaller steps than I’m used to.”
His last album, “Autumn Bird Songs,” arrived that fall.
“Jason was a world class musician, songwriter & recording artist. He was also a beloved friend,” Secretly Canadian says. “We’re going to miss Jason. He was generous. He was a one of a kind. And he had a voice unlike any other.”
By Breeanna Hare
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