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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Album Review: The Magic Lantern – A World In A Grain Of Sand

It's clear from this latest offering that The Magic Lantern harbour some impressive songwriting skills not to mention extraordinary musicianship. There are fantastic songs on the album and it requires your full attention

Written by Emma Barlow

Much of The Magic Lantern’s A World In A Grain Of Sand reminded me of the folk music coming out of London three of four years ago, sildenafil before the Mumfords came along and popularised the genre and made it synonymous with banjos, dosage harmonies and big anthemic choruses. I know this music still exists, here but it seems everyone has sort of forgotten about it. Brilliant artists like Johnny Flynn, Emmy The Great, and Lightspeed Champion – they are more about stripped back, folksy ditties, accompanied by traditional, acoustic instruments and usually, crucially, only one voice. It’s reminiscent of what we get here with The Magic Lantern’s latest offering and it’s really lovely to hear again.

The Magic Lantern by Steve Campion

Any fan of the bands I’ve already mentioned will love the albums two opening tracks Somebody Told Me and Cut From Stone, which are sweetly sung, largely guitar-led tracks. The rest of the album, however, is perhaps not quite so easy to listen to because this is quite an involved album, and it might even take a couple of listens before you understand how it fits together as whole. I almost wanted to turn all the lights off, sit down and simply listen.

The Magic Lantern by Claire Kearns

As the title of the album suggests there is something rather other worldly about The Magic Lantern and in particular Jamie Doe’s songwriting. These are ballads, in the very traditional sense of the word in that they are stories set to music and they require a bit more than just half your attention. The use of a whole myriad of instruments and some unusual and exotic sounding rhythms help add to the other worldly feel too, of course.

The Magic Lantern by Vanessa Lovegrove

Clearly this is a band with many many influences, like Doe sings in Shine A Light On, which is clearly, unbelievably, reggae-influenced, “don’t just believe me, write your own song”. Songs like Guilty Hearts, are moody, dark even – “It’s the quiet ones who tell the biggest lies”, Doe sings.

The Magic Lantern by Kiran Patel

But there are some moments when you wonder whether The Magic Lantern couldn’t have benefited from being a bit more concise with some of the tracks. Some of the solos that feature on this album are a little on the indulgent side, the two minute outro on The Ship That Washed Away, for example.

The Magic Lantern by Natalie Hughes

From the sounds of it The Magic Lantern are certainly a group of formidable musicians, which made me feel aware throughout the album that I would be much better off seeing them live.

The Magic Lantern by Emma Carlisle

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2 Responses to “Album Review: The Magic Lantern – A World In A Grain Of Sand”

  1. gina says:

    You’re right about seeing them live – pick the right venue though – somewhere you can really listen.

  2. [...] Illustration for amelia’s magazine. Review of The Magic Laterns album A World in a Grain of Sand. Read the review here [...]

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