RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

In music, box sets usually gather a career's worth of highlights - greatest hits, with some rarities thrown in for the hardcore fans.

Now comes a box set that contains no hits. All the recordings on "Sojourner" are new, from a band with a small but intense following - Magnolia Electric Co.

(Soundbite of song, "What Comes After the Blues")

Mr. JASON MOLINA: (Vocalist, Magnolia Electric Co.): (Singing) Now who was I? Now who am I? Lord, what have I done?

MONTAGNE: The singer and songwriter is Jason Molina. He put out close to a dozen albums before starting a full band. He writes songs at a remarkable rate. So instead of an album, he put out a box set. It comes with four CDs, a DVD, a wooden box and even a medallion. Glen Hansard is lead singer of The Frames and star of the movie "Once." He bought Jason Molina's first album by accident in a record store.

Mr. GLEN HANSARD (Lead Singer, The Frames): So I bought this record, and that evening, which we were driving in the van, and I stuck it on on the car stereo. And it was that thing, it was after a gig and everyone was wrecked, and we just put on this record, and it was just absolutely stunning to me. Totally fell in love with it.

(Soundbite of song, "Don't This Look Like the Dark")

Mr. MOLINA: (Singing) I thought that I'd gone far enough, I couldn't lose the trail, then I stepped through the door, and I still found a way to fail.

MONTAGNE: The songs on "Sojourner" take many forms. Some are stark and quiet, others fleshed out by a full rock band. But they almost always mention the moon, usually as something menacing or sometimes just looming. Singer Glen Hansard.

Mr. HANSARD: There's something about the sensibility of what he does that's so incredibly traditional, and yet so modern. It's like a Leonard Cohen thing, incredibly melancholic music that for some reason leaves you with a smile - not a smile, but leaves you with a kind of sense of hope.

MONTAGNE: The box set "Sojourner" comes out today.

(Soundbite of song, "Don't This Look Like the Dark")

Mr. MOLINA: (Singing) ...said to my heart, every one of them things ain't true. It was that one look at the end, one look at the end.

MONTAGNE: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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