We know Molina was diligent in both love and work. He treated songcraft like a job at the mill, and his approach to romance was not so different. We know that when he fell in love with his wife, he was dutiful in his adoration. There were strings of love letters and poetic gesture. Included in this edition are replicated examples of this relentless love — an envelope with a letter from Molina, a photograph of Molina and his to-be wife, a postcard, a Two of Hearts playing card, and a personal check for one million kisses. Some of these items were gifts he would send to his new love from the road; others, like the 2 of Hearts, were totems he’d carry with him around this time as a symbol for his burgeoning love.
And so, the head-over-heels album that is The Lioness has its workman counterpart. Nearly another album’s worth of material was recorded in Scotland during the album sessions. While similar in tone and structure, the songs seem to deal in the grit and dirt of being. These are songs for aching muscles getting soothed in the third-shift pub. But they’re also examples of Molina’s diligence as he constructs what would be the essential elements of The Lioness. In addition to these outtakes, we also have a 4-track session made weeks earlier in London with friend James Tugwell. Comprised of primarily guitar, hand drums and voice, these songs are raw experiments that mostly serve to illustrate Molina’s well of words and ideas. But then, there is the devastating Sacred Harp hymn “Wondrous Love.” While he may have had his new love in mind, one can’t help but think of Molina’s legacy as he softly warbles “Into eternity I will sing/Into eternity I will sing.” You don’t have to try too hard to mythologize Molina. He did all the work for you.
1. The Black Crow
3. Nervous Bride
4. Being In Love
6. Coxcomb Red
7. Back On Top
8. Baby Take A Look
9. Just A Spark
10. On My Way Home (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
11. Never Fake It (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
12. From The Heart (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
13. It Gets Harder Over Time (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
14. I Promise Not To Quit (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
15. Neighbors Of Our Age (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
16. Pyrate II (Even Now) (Lioness Sessions Outtake)
17. Velvet Marching Band (Lissy’s Sessions)
18. Raw (Lissy’s Sessions)
19. Already Through (Lissy’s Sessions)
20. Wondrous Love (Lissy’s Sessions)
The first demo shared was the haunting ‘Ring The Bell, Working Title: The Depression No. 42’, replete with gentle room noises, highlighting the intimacy of all the demos found on this deluxe edition.
Stereogum premiered the gorgeous ‘Blue Chicago Moon’, a song that reminds us all that this was an artist trying to discover himself and confront all his strengths and weaknesses within the context of his new hometown. The demo features what can only be described as an affirmation in refrain: “you are not helpless.” It’s through these seminal records of Jason’s and these newly released demos that we are able to feel more close to an artist who touched so many with his music by revealing and coming to terms with his own demons.
‘Didn’t It Rain’ is Jason Molina’s first perfect record. Recorded live in a single room, with no overdubs and musicians creating their parts on the fly, the overall approach to the recording was nothing new for Molina. The execution of ‘Didn’t It Rain’ clearly sets it apart from his existing body of work. His albums had always been full of space but never had Molina sculpted the space as masterfully as he does on ‘Didn’t It Rain’.
This expanded reissue presents Molina’s home demos of the record, eight previously unreleased tracks, complete with a distant playground full of children chiming in the background for a few songs. The glorious juxtaposition of Molina’s songs’ desolation and the blissful playing of children is about as haunting as it gets.
25 NEW ITEMS
Cliff Solomon / The Jak & Lex Lathan / William KincaidBattle Cry / The Call (On The Edge) / Circuit Collapse
Various ArtistsSomewhere Between: Mutant Pop, Electronic Minimalism & Shadow Sounds Of Japan 1980-1988
190 NEW ITEMS