To The Islands – Album Inspirations!

Energy cannot be created destroyed, just changed from one form to another. So here are 10 tracks and artists that inspired me during the writing, making and arranging of this new record – To The Islands, out on 2 November. May they inspire you too! x

‘Darling Day’ Premiered Today by For The Rabbits!

I am very excited that another song – ‘Darling Day’ – from the album is being premiered today by the great team at For The Rabbits. I wrote Darling Day about the unique kind of anxiety that I get in the middle of the night.

LISTEN TO DARLING DAY HERE

For The Rabbits had some kind words about the song:

“Musically, Darling Day is, initially at least, The Magic Lantern at their most stripped back, nodding towards Nick Drake or 100 Acres of Sycamore-era Fionn Regan, as Jamie is largely accompanied by gently finger-picked guitar lines. Across the track’s five-and-a-half minute duration it gradually swells, even as it remains delightfully subtle. Initially woodwind arrive, before drums enter, somewhat louder and straighter than you’d expect and latterly keyboards, saxophones and percussion create a quiet crescendo of sorts, before it fades into echo and reverb. The choice of instrumentation is nothing short of superb.

A songwriter combining the muted honesty of folk with the complexity and intrigue of jazz, ultimately The Magic Lantern’s sound is one based largely on the quality of his songwriting, and on this evidence, that’s never been stronger.”

All love and hope you enjoy it!

J x

On this most autumnal day, I’m really happy to share this live video of my song ‘Masks’ for voice and string quintet from the new album. One of the great joys of the past few years has been working as a vocalist with Phaedra ensemble so it meant a lot to be able arrange a song for them to play on.

Don’t forget tell people you love them x

 

To The Islands – Pre-Orders and Tour Dates!

I am very excited to announce that pre-orders for my new album ‘To The Islands’ on hand screen printed vinyl / off-set printed CD and crisp ol’ digital are open now and tour dates are on sale now – from here. I can’t wait to take the band on the road and bring this music to you all.
To The Islands – November Tour!

*support from the awesome Rachael Dadd
^ trio

All love and can’t wait to see you out on the road!

Jamie x

Albatross – Live at Abbey Road Studios

Today is a good day. I woke up this morning to hear that Tom Robinson played ‘Albatross’ again on his BBC 6 Music show on Saturday evening and said it was ‘extraordinary’ and then Lauren Laverne played it today on her show and said it was ‘beautiful’. Wind for the sails! Onwards we travel!

So I am super buzzed to share this video of ‘Albatross’ which we recorded live at Abbey Road Studios on a wintry session a few months back – which I have more to tell you about later on, but suffice to it say it was a pretty special experience.

All love
Jamie x

 

‘Albatross’ out 31 August!

So excited to announce that my new single ‘Albatross’ will be out next Friday 31 August! Can’t wait to share it with you! Photo by the amazing Kasia Wozniak! x

Between The World and Me – live

Smugglers Festival!

Delighted to be bringing the full band back to Smugglers Festival this year! Saturday 1 September 2.15 on the main stage! See you there! x

Lydia – live in the woods..

I went to the woods again, kept warm by a flask of tea, and performed a version of ‘Lydia’ to the bare branches x

Lydia – Beautiful Song of The Week

A really interesting examination of beauty, our relationship to ourselves, and perception. And some beautiful words about ‘Lydia’ from Toronto based blog ‘Beautiful Song of The Week’:

This blog spends a lot of time discussing beauty, but rarely in the context of physical beauty. (I think the closest we got was back in week 248, but that was more of a book recommendation than a meditation on good looks.)

So let’s dive right in.

There’s a strange paradox in the way most people perceive their own physical attractiveness. On the one hand, study after study shows that many of us are at least somewhat unhappy with the way we look. And yes, this may apply equally to men and women. We seem to want just slightly better than we have: ten pounds lighter, teeth just a bit whiter, hair just a bit cooler.

But at the same time, we have a tendency to overestimate our own good looks – regardless of what Dove says. It’s a strange phenomenon known to psychologists as ‘self-enhancement,’ and it leads us to all kinds of inaccurate estimations: we think we’re better drivers than most people, more intelligent than most people, work harder than most people…we overvalue ourselves and undervalue others. Including how good-looking we are.

This contradiction – I’m better-looking than average, but I need to be better – is a bizarre negative loop, where confidence feeds insecurity and happiness is perpetually just out of reach.

So what might a healthier mindset look like?

One of the things I’ve learned in writing this blog is that the more you look for beauty, the easier it is to find, and the more you realize that it comes in many types. “Pretty” is only one type. There’s also quirky, and stark, and moody and powerful. For me, it’s become less about how beautiful a song is, and more about how a song is beautiful.

Is it possible to apply that same idea to self-perception? To recognize that it’s less about how beautiful you are, and more about how you are beautiful?

I don’t know. Part of me thinks that’s a bit too clever to be true. But I’m sure that as far as musical beauty goes, we need the quirky and the stark and the moody and the powerful. So whatever your beautiful is, we probably need it too.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. Jamie Doe’s voice: calm and confident.

2. The guitar part: delicate and detailed.

3. The video: an elderly man makes some tea, then applies heavy makeup and dresses in drag. It’s not so much a statement about what it means to be beautiful, but more a series of questions about all the assumptions we make with regards to beauty; assumptions about age, gender, cosmetics, sexuality. The drag queen in the video goes by the name Lavinia Co-op, and the video is compelling because of her demeanour during the whole thing- calm, confident, delicate, detailed. In other words, she is beautiful in the same way the song itself is beautiful.

Recommended listening activity:

Picking out a piece of fruit based on what you imagine its personality would be like if it were a person.