Seven years after the death of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. leader Jason Molina, Eight Gates collects nine unreleased songs recorded in 2008 while he was living in London. Molina had learned a wealth of trivial factoids about the city and its history during his stint—often twisting the facts as he’d come up with poetic flights of fancy (the album title refers to the seven gates of London, imagining a new gate for himself). Otherwise, his oblique prose runs deep through these spare, doleful recordings, filled with existential frustration (“Old Worry”) and pithy dirges (“Be Told the Truth”) set alongside funereal organs and acoustic slow burns, respectively. Molina, a lifelong Midwesterner, lets the guitar notes hang on "Whisper Away," evoking the picturesque landscape of his hometown in all its vastness. The mood feels ominous, but also peaceful, as Molina added the soothing natural sound of birds throughout—which he recorded on his four-track in the garden outside of his Brick Lane house. These moments offer flickers of respite, like on "Thistle Blue," where he accentuates the calm and the chaos within himself: "Blackbird and thistle blue/Whose wilderness has my heartbreak wandered through."