Songs: Ohia “Didn’t Rain”


Joshua Daniel

2002 has come and gone leaving behind some great albums. Many of these still stick in your head, and many you still play. Along with all of the great albums, 2002 brought some albums that you may not have heard, but that are important in their own right. “Didn’t It Rain” by Songs: Ohia is such an album.


Songs: Ohia is the moniker Jason Molina used until 2005, when he changed his name to Magnolia Electric Company. He also went by Jason Molina on some records. “Didn’t It Rain” I believe is his swan song. Demonstrating that not only does he know who he is as a songwriter, but signaling where it is he wants to go. This record is dark and moody. You could label it as blues, jazz folk, singer songwriter, or really whatever you want. The songs and lyrics dig deep in your consciousness. The production quality is top notch and the musicianship is at its peak. “Didn’t It Rain” is a driving record yet bleak and beautiful. Of all of the albums that Jason Molina recorded this is the one I keep coming back to.


I discovered “Didn’t it Rain” on a drive from Bloomington Indiana to Chicago Illinois. (Jason Molina and I had just played a house show the night before. We had a great time.) The drive through the Midwest is filled with cornfields, rolling hills and tracts of bleak starkness. It’s a somewhat difficult drive, you start to lose track of where you are. “Didn’t It Rain” was perfect the music for this trip it is slow in its nature but strong in its delivery. Through lyrics Molina reveals his demons and darkness coupled with immaterial scenarios of Chicago and various Midwest locations. As I sit in the van driving, I notice the album is mirroring how I am feeling on tour. It also illustrates exactly how it feels on our drive, right down to the lyrics detailing the speed and sound of the wiper blades on the windshield.


I do not like to get specific about the details of sounds and moods of the records. I recommend, and I believe music should be an experience by listener. I strongly suggest you listen to Songs: Ohia and this is a good record to get you introduced to his music.  On December 2nd Secretly Canadian will issue a deluxe version of “Didn’t It Rain” including the original demos for the record. Do yourself a favor and listen, and enjoy. Unfortunately the world lost Jason Molina in 2013.  Luckily his musical contributions will live on forever.


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