Published May 20, 2020Beloved songwriter Jason Molina passed away in 2013, leaving behind a large body of work under his own name and as Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. His body of work will soon grow, as a posthumous album has been unearthed. Called Eight Gates, the album will arrive on August 7 via Secretly Canadian.
The album was recorded in 2008 while Molina was living in London and, according to a press release, recovering from a nasty bite from a rare spider.
Secretly Canadian explains the following of the album's origins:
Sometime in 2006 or 2007, Jason Molina moved from the midwest to London. Separated from his bandmates and friends and never one for idleness, Molina explored his new home with fervor. Sometimes he'd head out on foot, often with no destination in mind. Other times, he'd pick a random tube stop and find his way back home. He'd pick up on arcane trivia about London's rich history, and if the historical factoids weren't available — or weren't quite to his liking — Molina was quite comfortable conjuring his own history. His adoration of The Great American Tall Tales like John Henry and Paul Bunyan's blue ox Babe stretched across the Atlantic, where he created his own personal Tall Tales. And when he learned of the London Wall's seven gates (itself a misconception), Molina went ahead and called it eight, carving out a gate just for himself. The eighth gate was Molina's way into London, a gate only passable in the mind.
Fast forward to 2008, Molina set off on an experimental solo tour through Europe. While in Northern Italy, Molina claimed to have been bitten by a rare, poisonous spider. A debilitating bout of illness ensued. "I was in the hospital here in London," Molina wrote in a letter. "Saw six doctors and a Dr. House-type guy. They are all mystified by it, but I am allowed to be at home, where I am taking a dozen scary Hantavirus type pills a day that are all to supposedly help — but they make me feel like shit." There is no record of a single doctor visit, not any prescription record for these medications. It is entirely plausible there was no spider and that whatever was keeping him indoors during this time was entirely self-induced. While at home, he of course wrote songs.
For now, you can hear the record's newly shared "Shadow Answers the Wall," which can be streamed below.
1. Whisper Away
2. Shadow Answers the Wall
3. The Mission's End
4. Old Worry
5. She Says
6. Fire on the Rail
7. Be Told the Truth
8. Thistle Blue
9. The Crossroad + The Emptiness
Pre-order Eight Gates.