It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, the Joyzine Advent Calendar is back for its 17th consecutive yearly outing, bringing you 24 days of free music downloads from some of our favourite artists.
Let’s face it, it’s been a bloody awful year, so we’ve pulled out all the stops to bring you more exclusive tracks than ever before, starting with a festive double header today from two much loved veterans of advent calendars past.
As always, the tracks are completely free to to download and there’s no need to sign up to any mailing lists to access the tracks (though if you’d like to you can join ours here), but with the UK’s independent music venues in peril following almost a year of covid restrictions, we’d love you to make a donation to the Music Venue Trust‘s #saveourvenues campaign if you enjoy these tracks. You can make a donation to the fund, or to a specific venue of your choice here.
Ok, enough preamble, let’s get on with the festive goodies…
Piney Gir ft. Roxys – White Winter Hymnal
It wouldn’t be the Joyzine Advent Calendar without a festive fancy from London-based American indie-pop favourite Piney Gir, who has featured in almost every one of our 17 editions to date. This time she’s brought along her bandmates Roxys (Emma Brammer & Amy Ashworth) who added gorgeous vocals to Piney’s most recent album You Are Here (available via Bandcamp on pristine white vinyl) as well as joining forces as a backing trio for the likes of Gaz Coombes and Noel Gallagher.
They’ve combined to record a beautiful version of Fleet Foxes ‘White Winter Hymnal’, exclusively for this year’s Joyzine Advent Calendar, and a spine-tinglingly sumptuous seasonal special it is indeed, packed with the wonderful three-part harmonies that sparkled throughout You Are Here.
With live music on hold for the time being, Piney has been working on what she describes as a “pretty out-there concept album, due for release next year alongside a series of EPs and some pretty quirky merch to accompany this concept album… um… all will be revealed when the time is right! Soon soon…“
The trio are also working on a Roxys EP; “this Fleet Foxes cover was just a bit of fun but we’ll be writing new songs with a view to releasing something in 2021.“
“One thing I feel really lucky about is that even while I miss seeing my friends, visiting my family and touring with my band family, I feel so lucky to have these people in my life… and I feel blessed to have recovered from Covid (I had it back in March) and while I miss physical connection with people & sharing space and time and energy with loved ones, it’s amazing to stay connected through music. I do believe music is a little bit magic and to share music with people feels like a privilege for me. So thank you Joyzine for giving indie artists like me a platform to stay connected with people. That’s so important, especially now.
I wish you all a festive winter holiday & 2020 can say buh-bye! Here’s to a happier 2021; onwards & upwards!
MJ Hibbett – At Least It’s Christmas
Another seasoned seasonal songsmith, MJ Hibbett is so embued with the festive spirit that he and his band The Validators have an annually-expanding Christmas Selection Box album (available here), currently featuring 20 tracks, many of which have featured on our Advent Calendars over the years.
This year the band have been unable to get together to record their Christmas single for obvious reasons, so MJ has recorded the track himself, and we’re delighted to unveil it exclusively to the world on the Advent Calendar today. ‘At Least It’s Christmas’ takes a wry, light-hearted wander through the many highs and lows of 2020 (let’s face it, it’s been mostly lows), injecting a little festive cheer into proceedings with his customary warm sense of humour. As Mark himself says “it demonstrates that, if nothing else over Lockdown, I did finally learn how to do MIDI programming!!“
Get the latest MJ Hibbett & The Validators news on their official website
Check back tomorrow and every day until 24th December for more fantastic free festive goodies.