Jason Molina is an itinerant artist, driven to challenge himself and change up his material and approach in search of new "moments." Molina's done things such as recruiting players unfamiliar with the songs and recording them as they discovered them, or decamping to an abandoned factory to get the perfect desolate vibe. So, too, has his musical style migrated. His first spare, parched country, under the moniker Songs: Ohia, bore an enormous debt to Bonnie Prince Billy's Will Oldham, literally and figuratively. (Oldham put out the first Songs: Ohia seven-inch on his Palace Records.) These days Molina favors a raw, rumbling country-blues attack that retains the same dark, haunted energy of the early albums, but gives it more of a rock bite, cutting a figure with a strong resemblance to Neil Young. The music reflects a lyrical undertone with antecedents in Texas country and Townes Van Zandt; Molina's characters are lost, alienated and swallowed up by the world, the love they can't share, and despondency over the dead-end course of their lives spiraling beyond their control.
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