Jason Molina Dies: Magnolia Electric Co. Indie Rocker Was 39

Image: Jason Molina Dies: Magnolia Electric Co. Indie Rocker Was 39 2007 photo of Jason Molina playing with his band Magnolia Electric Co at the Roots of Heaven festival, Haarlem, Netherlands.

Tuesday, 19 Mar 2013 08:15 AM

By Megan Anderle

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Jason Molina, a musician in the band Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. and who was known for his eclectic alternative sound, has died. He was 39.

A statement posted by his record label, Secretly Canadian, on Magnolia Electric's website said that the Ohio-born indie rocker passed away of natural causes on Saturday at his home in Indianapolis, CNN reported.

Molina's death was attributed to organ failure resulting from alcohol consumption, reported Rolling Stone.

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"Jason is the cornerstone of Secretly Canadian," the label said 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."

The musician began his career in 1996, as a heavy metal bassist under the pseudonym Songs: Ohia. His debut single, which landed him a record deal, was "Soul."

In 2003, he changed his stage name to Magnolia Electric Co., which was also the name of the album he released that year. The album, recorded by Steve Albini, was Molina's most straight-ahead rock effort to date, according to Billboard.

CNN's Mark Morgenstein called the 2003 album "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.

Molina's best-selling release is the 2005 Magnolia Electric Co. album "What Comes After The Blues," which sold 13,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

David Haglund at Slate said that Molina's songs are "frequently dark and personal, delivered in a quavery voice that seemed to catch something of his own fragility."

Molina, who struggled with severe alcoholism, toured the globe regularly until his disease forced him in and out of rehab facilities from 2009 to 2011. Because the artist lacked medical insurance, his family set up a fund for interested parties to assist with the high cost of the facilities.

His last album was "Autumn Bird Songs," which was released this past 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."

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Related links:

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