Molina was best known for his bands Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. and his bluesy-folk song stylings. Born in Lorain, Ohio, he moved to Bloomington in 1997 to release an album on Secretly Canadian and quickly became a mainstay at the record label.
“Jason is the cornerstone of Secretly Canadian,” says a statement by the label. “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.”
Over the next several years, Molina toured globally and recorded over a dozen albums, both live and in the studio. Songs: Ohia, a self-titled LP, was his first release on Secretly Canadian, which became his nearly life-long label.
He released several other albums and singles under the same name until he began a new project in 2003, titled Magnolia Electric Co. This band released three full-length albums on the Secretly Canadian label. His final album, Autumn Bird Songs, was released on Graveface Records in October 2012.
Molina battled with severe alcoholism for the latter part of his life. A statement on Magnolia Electric Co.’s website in 2011 revealed his struggles and attempts at rehabilitation. After cancelling a tour in 2009, he stayed out of the public eye in order to take control of his disease.
The untimely death of a talented, creative man is felt strongly by the musical community in Bloomington and by the rest of the lives he touched with his music. “We’re going to miss Jason,” says Magnolia Electric Co.’s statement on his passing. “He was generous. He was a one of a kind. And he had a voice unlike any other.”