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Secretly Canadian is proud to present the Sojourner boxset. It is the accumulated work of thirteen musicians, five locations, four recording engineers, three filmmakers, two designers and one songwriter, including enough material for three full lengths, one EP and one DVD. The boxset includes 4 CDs a DVD, a poster, postcards and a medallion.

The four CDs that are included in the boxset are from four distinct recording sessions that Magnolia Electric Co recorded following the release of their debut studio album What Comes After The Blues. The session known as Nashville Moon was recorded by Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio studios in Chicago, Illinois. The session known as Sun Sessions was recorded at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The session known as Black Ram was recorded by David Lowery at his Sound Of Music studios in Richmond, Virginia and features an entirely different cast of characters including Lowery, Rick Alverson, Andrew Bird, Molly Blackbird, Miguel Urbiztondo and Alan Weatherhead. The session known as Shohola was recorded by Jason Molina alone, with a guitar and microphone. The Road Becomes What You Leave is a film produced by Todd Chandler and Tim Sutton. It follows the band as they tour across the prairie provinces of Canada and shows the loneliness and isolation one can feel even when traveling in a pack.

Together, these make for the most ambitious and robust Magnolia Electric Co release to date.

12 years ago today Magnolia Electric Co. released the incredible ‘Sojourner’ boxset.

An ambitious and beautifully curated collection released in a wooden box, ‘Sojourner’ was the accumulated work of thirteen musicians, five locations, four recording engineers, three filmmakers, two designers and one songwriter, including enough material for three full lengths, one EP and one DVD. The boxset included 4 CDs a DVD, a celestial map, postcards and a medallion.

 

Ben Swanson, Secretly Canadian:

Sojourner was born out of one of the most prolific periods of Jason’s career. He’d constantly be setting up new sessions, or sending us new records – not recordings, but fully conceived records – out of the blue. He even sent one cryptically as a demo and then got upset when we didn’t find it amongst the pile of other demos (that record eventually became the Molina & Johnson record). It was extremely exciting but admittedly a bit stressful from the label perspective. We were sensitive to the Prince dynamic with Warner; of not being able to keep up and do justice to the work. Jason was also – actually not unlike Prince now that I think about it – in the midst of this transformative period away from the old Songs: Ohia moniker and material into a new, more expansive name, Magnolia Electric Co (at the time, he had the idea of a multi-headed beast. Several different “Electric Co.”s coexisting). We desperately wanted to keep pace with Jason but could never catch up. Eventually we landed on the idea of leaning in to the situation and suggested we put all this material together in a box. At first it was purely a practical innovation to reset the clock, but eventually came to find the opportunity to showcase Jason’s range. My memory is he loved the concept out of the gate and immediately began dreaming of a box stuffed with music, a Ouija board, a constellation map and a chicken bone. Tokens from his universe. In hindsight, Sojourner ended up as the most complete representation of Jason’s expansive world that rewards repeat listens. At some point we’ll have to put it out on vinyl. Maybe there will be room for the chicken bone.

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