Molina was born in Lorain, Ohio. Growing up on a heavy dosage of Black Sabbath, Molina began his musical career playing bass in heavy metal bands around Cleveland. Always a songwriter, Molina eventually decided to perform and record solo with help as needed. He developed a method of tuning his guitar that complemented his voice and worked with his background as a bass player. Finding his niche in indie rock circles, Molina made home recordings under the names Songs: Albian, Songs: Radix, and Songs: Unitas to pass out at live shows. Settling on Songs: Ohia, Molina released a single on the Palace label in 1996. The first Songs: Ohia full-length followed in 1997; released on the Secretly Canadian label, the self-titled album garnered critical acclaim. Songs: Ohia continued to release full-length albums — including 1998's Impala and 1999's Axxess & Ace — and a number of singles on various American and European labels, and won a large following in many European countries, most notably Holland and Germany.
Constantly recording and writing new songs, Songs: Ohia released a handful of singles and EPs in 2002, including a split EP with Louisville's My Morning Jacket and a collaborative EP (under the name Amalgamated Sons of Rest) with Will Oldham and Ali Roberts. Pyramid Electric Co. and Magnolia Electric Co., originally conceived as a double album, were released separately in early 2003. The former, a sparse solo album, was recorded with Mike Mogis (from Lullaby for the Working Class), while the latter featured a full band and was recorded by Steve Albini. Sadly, Jason Molina suffered from alcoholism for years, which ultimately led to his death from organ failure in March 2013 at the age of 39. In 2018, Songs: Ohia's volume in the Temporary Residence EP series Travels in Constants was reissued and appeared on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. In 2018, The Lioness was given an expanded re-release as Love & Work: The Lioness Sessions, which included an extra album's worth of unreleased songs from the period. ~ Jason Nickey