The Magic Lantern is the musical moniker of British Australian singer-songwriter and composer Jamie Doe, an artist dedicated to examining the limitless depth of human experience in our search for meaning.
His latest single ‘Blades of Grass’ is the second to be taken from his upcoming fourth album ‘A Reckoning Bell’, written and recorded while helping to care for his father with Alzheimers disease. The album examines what loss can teach us about love and how love’s many small acts give a life meaning. ‘Blades of Grass’ is a joyful song for a desperate time, that celebrates our unavoidable human fragility and wild need for companionship .
A Reckoning Bell sees The Magic Lantern working with producer Chris Hyson (Jordan Rakei, Alison Sudol) to explore the fertile late night hinterland between folk, jazz and contemporary music.
Born in Australia before moving to the UK at 12, 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 and together they evolved a transporting sound inspired by the immediacy of Jamie’s lyrics, 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 was vocally supported 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’ was the product of two years spent crafting this new musical approach, playing hundreds of gigs around the UK and beyond.
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)’, an organisation very close to Jamie’s heart.
Drawing on a wide range of influences from folk, jazz and contemporary music, The Magic Lantern’s third album ‘To The Islands’ was written following a tumultuous journey to Jamie’s childhood home in Australia after nearly 10 years away, and explores memory and hope in a world of near constant uncertainty.
The Magic Lantern is part of a thriving scene of genre bending contemporary musicians in London who are going about things their own way. The Magic Lantern has toured the UK supporting acclaimed folk artist Sam Lee, sung with Jamie Cullum at the BBC Proms and as a guest vocalist with Sikh virtuoso Manika Kaur in Trafalgar Square. He has performed for the Queen and over 50 Commonwealth Heads of State, sung in the Sussex Woods with nightingales and recorded in Abbey Road Studios as part of the Help Musicians UK ‘Music Minds Matter’ campaign. He received a ‘Do it Differently’ grant from Help Musicians UK towards ‘The Life That I Have’ and his fourth album is due for release in the Autumn of 2021 with support from the PRS Open Fund.
The Magic Lantern has received praise from numerous supporters including BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey, Lauren Laverne, Gideon Coe, Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction and BBC Radio 2’s Jamie Cullum, Mark Radcliffe and Bob Harris among others; and publications such as The Guardian, Acoustic Magazine and Atwood Magazine.
‘Blades of Grass’ is out now.