Magnolia Electric Co. started for Jason Molina as a follow up project to the disbanded Songs: Ohia; even the name of the group was taken from the title of the last Songs: Ohia record. The line up of the four-piece band in 2003 consisted of Pete Schreiner (Panoply Academy, Coke Dares) on drums, Mike Kapinus (Okkervil River) on bass and trumpet, Jason Groth (Impossible Shapes, John Wilkes Booze, Coke Dares) on guitar, and Jason Molina providing the other guitar and vocals. The first release for Magnolia Electric Co was Trials & Errors, recorded live in Brussels in 2003, though it did not come out until Jan 2005. With later tours, Magnolia Electric Co increased it's members by adding Mark Rice (Impossible Shapes, John Wilkes Booze) on drums and as a result moving Schreiner to bass and Kapinus to trumpet and keyboards. Their full-length studio debut appeared to glowing reviews in spring 2005 via Secretly Canadian. The band didn't slow down, touring for most of the summer and issuing the five-song EP Hard to Love a Man in October.