No singer/songwriter has been more deserving of the tortured ‘troubadour’ tag than Jason Molina. Labouring under the unpronounceable name of Songs:Ohia (how the hell do you say it?), he has been floating around for years in the sphere of the lonesome hitchhiker lost out on some nameless highway armed with only a guitar and a broken heart. it does not take any stretch of the imagination to picture mr molina sat out on an unfamiliar porch after being taken in by some strangers he met just today, clutching his battered guitar and proceeding to pull maudlin countrified chords out of thin air. despite himself he soon has everyone around either transfixed or crying into their beer. in the distance the wind gently carresses the trees and a lost bird cries out to its flock.
the neil young comparisons are inevitable as they both have in their hands the ability to write the kind of open ended music that says a lot by saying almost close to nothing. i have been listening to nothing except songs:ohia/magnolia electric co. for the past 48 hours and is constantly struck by the wide open spaces conjured up by his music. whether going it alone or surrounding himself with a full band the negative spaces are the means to an end.
at the center of it all is the voice; gruff but at the same time tender and vulnerable. paired with some stunning imagery from the words, the effect can be very unsettling. ‘momma here comes midnight with a dead moon in its jaw’ (from ‘farewell transmission’) is just one example.
in an age when manufactured pop reigns supreme, jason molina is that rare breed of songwriter who reminds us that after all the glitz and glamor has close shop for the day, we all still have to go back to a place called home.

By hellfried Posted in Music