The Magic Lantern - Monolith Cocktail.


Once again, at her most lyrical, Ayfer Simms elevates her subject to the highest of literary plains. This week it’s the turn of  The Magic Lantern.


The Magic Lantern  ‘Love Of  Too Much Living’  (Smugglers Records)  


The magic lantern and the impossible speed of existence.


“Turned the machines off and let the breath expend…” Jamie Doe whispers to our ear awakening a feeling, gently put, of a sudden realization; the inconsolable haste of things on a cosmic level, of life as a whole. Our past rushes by us to become a shadowy burden over our heads. It is not nature’s fault, the angle with which it falls in our perception is only incidental, and yet our fate and our dreads lie on it.

With this album we are in A room with a view, the famous E.M Forster’s novel, not with the main character but with the brother: Freddy Honeychurch, the earnest happy chipper chap who sings funny tunes and rolls himself around in the magnificent gardens of the English countryside; yet, Jamie’s atmosphere and lyrics, voice and questionings are those of an older Freddy. Of a mature self who ponders about his past with great fondness and equal sadness as hit by some ghastly truth: The happy child’s past is dissipating in the great condemned vastness of the universe. Yes we are something in the great scheme of things, but where are our lovely happy loving memories?

Jamie’s voice expends like that of Jeff Buckley and Neil Hannon around the solitude of a few guitar chords, married lovingly in a laurel of deliberated quiet melodies.

The love of earth itself is grandiose, but the eyes of the young man brings a  slight angst to the heart, for all this will vanish forever before long, fleeting from our grasps in the duration of one single sigh.

This impossibly hard to define reality, passes through our lips like a faded breath: Time, the way it presents itself to us is nonsensical and we are in a constant state of mourning:

“And the moment’s so fleeting, I
t really makes no sense at all”

And again:

“You can’t try to slow it,
It’s over, it’s over, “

Jamie Doe is obsessed with the notion of time, fleeting, leaving us longing for dear moments. Reality crashes with the beauty of his early years. The lyrics touching true deep feelings combined with the vibrations of a soothing vocal cords are addictive, like a shot of medicine that slows things down, like the answer to the spreading chaos.

The tone is deliberately slow: we are holding on to the present with all our strength, in the quiet place where he offers peace and love to whoever wants to show faith in the human kind’s destiny. Jamie lets out a big murmur, a mixture of emotions, that of happiness and love, and the fear of inevitably losing it all. We all fight our own demons, but this demon is one that concerns us all.

“We circle ’round each other,
Like atoms spin through space.
We’re solitary creatures,
Who crave a warm embrace.”


There is comfort in this voice and the album. What prevails despites the angst is the soothing voice, lyrics that poetically strikes a chord, for anyone who grew with love, like a lullaby before we disappear forever.


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