Seven years after the death of Magnolia Electric Co. mastermind Jason Molina, a collection of music the singer recorded while living in London will be released for the first time.
Eight Gates, due out August 7th via Molina’s longtime label Secretly Canadian, features the last solo studio recordings Molina made prior to his 2013 death at the age of 39. The label also shared the collection’s first single, the stark “Shadow Answers the Wall.”
The nine songs on Eight Gates were recorded in 2009, roughly two years after Molina left the Midwest U.S. for London, and after the singer faced a “debilitating bout of illness” following a bite from a “rare, poisonous spider,” Secretly Canadian said.
“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.” Although no evidence of the doctor visit or prescription exists, Molina allegedly wrote Eight Gates’ songs while recuperating.
“[Molina would] 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 conjured his own,” Secretly Canadian added of the album’s title. “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.”
Molina’s last solo album, Autumn Bird Songs, was released in 2012, a year before his March 2013 death from organ failure brought on by alcohol consumption.
Eight Gates Track List
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”