Holding Hands - The Magic Lantern
Our next LCM #TrackOfTheDay 'Holding Hands' is the wonderful new single from Australian born but London based singer-songwriter Jamie Doe (aka The Magic Lantern). The video stars the incredible Kiwi mime artist Thom Monckton. The lyrics here are very poignant, a triumph of hope over doubt. ‘Holding Hands’ will be released on the 30th October 2017 through Hectic Eclectic Records with his third album 'To The Islands' due for release in the spring of 2018. Jamie's new album was written during this tumultuous journey to Australia after nearly 10 years away and explores memory and hope in a world of near constant uncertainty.
Holding Hands was written during a moment of desperation, Jamie having traveled half way across the world only to run out of road. Strung out and alone, he found himself writing this song for the true love he hoped to meet, as much an act of faith in their existence as a beacon to guide himself home. Originally written for voice and guitar, it was after hearing Bjork’s ‘Anchor Song’ late one night that Jamie decided to arrange the song for saxophone trio. The timbre of the brass, the groove of the band, The Bad Plus style piano solo – it is an arrangement that brings together some of Jamie’s key influences which he describes as “the lyrical directness of folk, the harmonic openness and improvisational freedom of jazz and the craft of great songwriting. It’s a good example of how much more confident I have become as an arranger”.
The Magic Lantern is the musical moniker of Jamie Doe. Born in Australia before moving to the UK at 12, it was while studying philosophy in Bristol that Jamie began performing as The Magic Lantern alongside friends and long-term collaborators in the DIY Bristol music scene including This Is The Kit, Rozi Plain and Rachael Dadd.
Moving to London in 2007, Jamie expanded The Magic Lantern into a quintet of friends and together they evolved a transporting sound inspired by the immediacy of Jamie’s lyrics and lilting melodies and a shared love of improvised music.
The Magic Lantern’s debut album ‘A World In A Grain Of Sand’ was mixed by Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Paul Simon) and released in June 2011 and has been critically acclaimed by Late Junction’s Verity Sharp, Bob Harris and Tom Robinson (BBC Radio 3, 2 and 6 respectively) among others.
Keen to focus on the intensity that comes with stripping everything away, Jamie dissolved the quintet line up in 2012 to return to playing and writing on his own. His intimate second album ‘Love of Too Much Living’ is the product of two years spent crafting this new musical approach, playing hundreds of gigs around the UK to an ever-increasing audience of enthusiasts.
Following its release in October 2014, Jamie toured across the UK and Europe and compiled an album of other musicians versions of his songs, ‘Love of Too Much Living – Remakes’ featuring This Is The Kit, Sam Brookes, Emilia Martensson, Wallis Bird, Rozi Plain and Low Chimes among others. It was released in December 2015 with all proceeds going to the male suicide prevention charity the ‘Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)’.
A rising star of London’s diverse music scene, 2016 saw The Magic Lantern as at home touring alongside Mancunian poet and saxophonist Alabaster Deplume, as performing with Jamie Cullum at the BBC Proms and singing on Sam Lee’s ‘Lovely Molly’ winning ‘Best Traditional Track’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Jamie also decided to return to Australia for the first time in nearly a decade to explore his roots and chase the flickering embers of doomed romance.
Musically ‘To The Islands’ mirrors this exploration, working with a new band of old and new friends from London’s thriving jazz scene, it draws on a wide range of sounds and textures, from afro-beat grooves, to solo piano, string quintet lyricism to narcotic late night saxophone jams, all united by Jamie’s instantly recognisable voice and inimitable song-writing style. ‘To This Islands’ promises to be his most ambitious musical statement to date.