The Magic Lantern, the musical moniker of Jamie Doe, presents his dazzling new single ‘Holding Hands’ – out now via Hectic Eclectic Records. And opens up about being compared with the likes of Grizzly Bear and Jeff Buckley and shares his thoughts on the music scene in London and Bristol.
Hi The Magic Lantern! Please introduce yourself to our readers:
My name is Jamie Doe but I perform under the moniker ‘The Magic Lantern’. I was born in Australia but moved to the UK when I was 12 and I live and work in London. I started performing as The Magic Lantern while I was studying Philosophy in Bristol. I have released two albums as The Magic Lantern, ‘A World in A Grain of Sand’ in 2011 and ‘Love of Too Much Living’ in 2014 – both totally consumed me.
I find making albums both the most exciting, but also the most emotionally draining process. Releasing new music out into the world is always a very tender time for me, it’s complex. I’m both excited and nervous then to be releasing the first single’ Holding Hands’ from my third album on 30 October 2017 with the album due for release in the spring of 2018.
Tell us about your new single ‘Holding Hands’
I wrote ‘Holding Hands’ during a moment of desperation. I had been back to Australia, for the first time in nearly a decade. I was chasing the dying embers of something as well as looking to explore my relationship with Australia. When I got back into the bleak London mid-winter I was pretty strung out and very alone. I found himself writing this song for the person I hoped to meet – i’m singing it to them. Writing the song was as much an act of faith in their existence as a cry of frustration at where I’d washed up.
You’ve been compared to the likes of Grizzly Bear and Jeff Buckley, do you think they’re fair comparisons?
I think comparisons are difficult things to respond to. I love and respect the music of Grizzly Bear and Jeff Buckley and I’m touched to be compared to them. If it helps people who haven’t heard my music yet to give it a listen then it’s useful. But really, I would rather people listen first and make up their own minds and not come with too many preconceptions.
What’s the music scene like in Australia? Any artists you’d recommend?
I’ve been living in the UK since I was 12 so I’m not that clued up on the Aussie scene – although recently I’ve gone back a few times. I love The Necks, they’re a great trio that make long form improvised music and are huge over there, and of course Courtney Barnett is great. But my favourite artist from around there is Tiny Ruins from New Zealand. I heard her play in London a few years and have been a massive fan ever since – beautiful songs!
How does it compare to the music scene in London and Bristol?
From my experience, its pretty happening in Australia but of course it’s a much smaller scene than in London. I’m very lucky to be part of an amazingly diverse community of musicians in London. We’re friends as well as colleagues and we really support each other and I can’t really imagine living and making music anywhere else right now. I do think there is similarity between Melbourne and Bristol though, in so far as they’re lifestyle cities – things happen a little slower – and lots of artists and musicians have gravitated to both places making them real creative hubs.
Describe your sound in five words
Autumn evening lost in thought
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
I’m making a new video for a future single which is exciting, getting the album mastered and staying warm!
Any live dates coming up?
I’m doing a mini tour in London, Stroud and Deal from 27-29 October and then ‘Holding Hands’ will be out on Monday 30th, which is really exciting. I can’t wait for people to hear it. The album ‘To The Islands’ will be out in Spring next year, all being well. I want to connect with as many people as possible.
Photos by Kasia-Wozniak