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Vinyl Emergency

Musicians, record label owners, visual artists and beyond describe how the influential medium of vinyl has shaped their lives and careers.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Apr 18, 2023
Releasing nearly 20 albums over 15 years, singer/songwriter Jason Molina penned "bruised and barren songs of longing and lost salvation" (NPR). Delivered with a soul-cutting, unadorned tenor, his discography continues to connect with a devoted fan base through varied incarnations -- whether in a group dynamic as Magnolia Electric Co. under his first solo moniker, Songs: Ohia or his own birthname -- despite his death in 2013, at the age of 39.
 
A particularly prolific period in the mid-00's saw the release of the 4-CD Magnolia box set Sojourner, encompassing full-band recordings with Steve Albini in Chicago, an alternate line-up in Virginia with Cracker frontman David Lowery producing, an EP's worth of tracks from Memphis' legendary Sun Studio, and Molina solo tapes from home. If the wide-range of performances weren't enough, Molina wanted to double-down on his mythological side by adding a ouija board and real chicken bones to the screen-printed wooden box. Eventually, label and artist settled on a celestial map and Magnolia medallion. They also put out a truncated version of this massive collection as the 10-track single LP, Fading Trails in 2006.
 
Today, former Magnolia bandmate Jason Evans Groth and Secretly Canadian label co-founder Ben Swanson discuss their memories of the sessions that make up Sojourner, the journey this project has taken to get to vinyl (released earlier this month, available via secretlystore.com), and how artists today continue to spread the gospel of Molina's canon a decade after his passing. Follow @jasonamolina on Instagram for archival content, and join the Molina fan community via staticanddistance.substack.com.
 
Secretly Canadian is also auctioning off vinyl test pressings of Molina's work and more via eBay, linked here. All proceeds are donated to housing non-profit New Hope for Families.
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