Yesterday’s Advent Calendar treat was a brand new improvised alternative Christmas tune courtesy of London garage punks Dead Horse (download ‘Eating The Reindeer‘ here). Today we have another trio of tantalising treats for you, courtesy of one of our favourite independent record labels.
As always, the tracks are completely free to download and there’s no need to sign up to any mailing lists to access the songs (though if you’d like to you can join ours here), but if you’re enjoying the tunes we’d love you to make a donation to the wonderful charity Help Musicians, who offer health and welfare support to musicians at all stages of their lives.
Right, let’s see who’s providing today’s musical treats.
Established in 2005 from an anti-folk night at the sadly missed 12 Bar Club on London’s legendary Denmark Street, Blang Records recently celebrated 16 years of fantastic independent music with a documentary, Outsider Music, which moved Joyzine editor Paul Maps to enthuse about how you could “feel the enthusiasm and love pour out of the screen”.
Over those 16 years the indie imprint has released a tonne of music by some of our favourite bands, and they’ve coralled three of them to provide exclusive new festive tunes for today’s Advent Calendar window, in a label special they’ve dubbed Pigs In Blangkets.
Up first it’s Blang boss Joe Murphy’s own outfit Sergeant Buzfuz, with their take on a traditional Christmas classic.
They released latest single ‘Race & Racy’, an ode to independent second hand book and record shops, this year with Joe sharing his memories of vinyl emporiums past and present in an interview with Joyzine, which you can read here.
The single followed hot on the heels of Fox Pop, their seventh album, which was one of several LPs released by Blang during the 2020 lockdowns. We’re looking forward to news of album number eight before too long.
For today’s calendar window they’ve recorded a shimmering rendition of carol concert favourite ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’.
Download ‘In The Bleak Midwinter‘ by Sergeant Buzfuz.
Find out more on Sergeant Buzfuz’s official website
Today’s second Blang offering is provided by Paul Hawkins, most frequently of outsider pop cult heroes The Awkward Silences, but today operating solo on a freshly penned Christmas tune.
The Akward Silences were another of the Blang bands to unveil a new album last year, with their self-titled long-player described by Joyzine’s Hind El-Bouaissaoui declaring it “their catchiest, most unusual and most personal work to date.” They recently released an excellent retro 16-bit gaming themed video for album track ‘Count Each Mistake I’ve Ever Made’, directed by Tom Mayne of label-mates David Cronenberg’s Wife which we highly recommend you check out here.
Paul’s Advent Calendar offering is a brand new slice of lo-fi seasonal melancholy, ‘Christmas Doesn’t Love Me’, an open and honest exploration of loss and loneliness in the festive period.
Download ‘Christmas Doesn’t Love Me‘ by Paul Hawkins (Awkward Silences)
Find out more on The Awkward Silences’ official website
The third and final addition to today’s festive Blang selection box is provided by Faux Fibbers, the duo of guitarist Jerry Wigens (and taking lead vocal duties for the first time on this track) and Nigel Knapp, singer, one of five deputy leaders of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and award winning Christmas pudding producer.
They also released a new LP, Learn To Lie, on Blang last year and are currently gearing up for their final gig of the year, a free entry Christmas special on 18th December at The Anchor & Hope in Clapton, where they play a monthly residency throughout the year.
One of the tracks destined for the setlist is festive fan favourite ‘All The Nutters Come Out At Christmas’, which they’ve provided a recording of for today’s calendar window.
Download ‘All The Nutters Come Out At Christmas‘ by The Faux Fibbers
Find out more on the Faux Fibbers’ official website
Keep up to date with all things Blang, and get your hands on records by these artists and more on the official Blang Records website
If you enjoy these tracks, please consider making a donation to Help Musicians
Come back tomorrow for more exclusive tracks + check out the tracks from previous windows, all of which are still available to download:
#1: Piney Gir – Everybody Knows It’s Christmas
#2: Lost Map Records: Gordon McIntyre – You and Me and The Ghosts of Christmas Past
#3: Hey You Guys! – I’m Sorry, Peter With Rosie – The Oxen + Peter Richard Adams – The Roaring Twenties
#4: Salt The Snail – Matador Print
#5: Dead Horse – Eating The Reindeer