The Joyzine Advent Calendar – 24 Days of Free Music Downloads! #11: Sonic Tonic ft. Firestations, The Leaf Library, Shattercones, Maggie The Cat + Naomi In Blue

Yesterday’s Advent Calendar treat was a gorgeous new festive track, ‘Last Stop for Tired Reindeer’ from The Mining Co. (get your free download here). Today we have exciting news of two gigs that we’ll be co-promoting in the new year and tracks from five of the bands performing, in our biggest Advent Calendar giveaway so far this year.

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.

Let’s discover who’s bringing today’s tunes…

We first planned to team up with London promoters Sonic Tonic for the launch gig for Joyzine favourites Shattercones’ EP in the spring of 2020, and we all know what happened next. Instead we both funnelled our energies into a series of online Balcony Festival events that raised thousands of pounds for good causes, with video performances by fantastic artists selected by ourselves and other UK based blogs, zines and promoters.

With live music back on the agenda (and please let us not be heading back into a situation where it closes again), we’re delighted to announce a pair of shows for the new year at Hackney hotspot Paper Dress Vintage, and today we’ve got tracks from five of the bands who will be gracing the stage.

Taking place on 21st January, the first show features experimental alt-pop quintet Firestations and North London drone pop outfit The Leaf Library, with further acts to be announced. Tickets, priced at £6 + booking fee, are available now via We Got Tickets and Dice.

Firestations make conceptual alt-pop songs layered with drones, harmonies and electronica. They span genres from shoegazey indie and intimate folksy warmth, through to addictive synth pop and harmony driven psychedelic moments. Their Automatic Tendencies project saw three experimental EPs, and accompanying art collections, released on Lost Map Records from August 2020 to Summer 2021. New single ‘Reflection Spells’ is out on 14th December.

This song ‘Long Year City’ is taken from an extensive archive of unreleased songs, high up on a shelf in a hard-drive somewhere, just waiting to see the light of day.

Download ‘Long Year City
Find out more on Firestations’ official website

Photograph by Emily Mary Barnett

The Leaf Library are a north London band playing experimental dream-like music built on layers of chiming guitars, pulsing electronics, noise and looping drones. They have released three studio albums (Daylight Versions, About Minerals and The World Is A Bell) as well as a number of electronic and experimental albums and EPs, remix compilations and longform tracks. They have released five Monument CDRs; an on-going series of experimental solo and side projects on their Objects Forever imprint. The band have collaborated with musicians as diverse as singer Ed Dowie, artist Teruyuki Kurihara, The Clientele’s Alistair MacLean, noise group Far Rainbow and Iskra Strings, and have provided music for a number of exhibitions, films and performances.

‘Tired Ghost’ is a new version of the track ‘An Endless’, taken from The World Is A Bell (2019).

Download ‘Tired Ghost
Find out more on The Leaf Library’s official website

Our second show, on 22nd February, sees us finally collaborate on that oft postponed Shattercones gig, where they will be supported by Maggie The Cat and Naomi In Blue. Tickets, priced at £6 + booking fee, are available via We Got Tickets and Dice.

Photograph by Brian Edwards

Hot on the heels of October’s This Septic Isle EP, Shattercones gift us a slab of Christmas cheer(?) with their take on the popular school hymn ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’. Pedal steel guitar floats over a bed of insistent, woozy drones, chugging guitar, deep, pulsing, and a vocal that’s almost as cold as the song title itself. Recorded specially for the Joyzine Advent Calendar, the song is a warped but soothing missive for those who prefer their Christmas tunes with a slice of Brexit canapés and some homemade rocket fuel. It’s also a potent taster for their forthcoming 3rd EP, due next year. MERRY CHRISTMAS. LISTEN TO SHATTERCONES!

Download ‘In The Bleak Midwinter
Find out more on Shattercones’ official website.

Maggie The Cat is a songwriter and vocalist from South London, of the post punk ensemble Madonnatron. In keeping with her previous releases as Madonnatron, creation, destruction, addiction, sex, murder, and arcane mysticism are the visceral inspiration for this body of work which is simultaneously bewitching, erotic, menacing and occasionally chilling (although never without mischief).

Download ‘The Cherry Tree Carol
Follow Maggie The Cat on Facebook

Photograph by Alexandra Genova

Blending sharp storytelling with experimental soundscapes, Naomi in Blue questions the constraints of genre and takes us beyond Americana to a cinematic sound that’s post-country.

An Experiment is the debut EP from Naomi in Blue. As Naomi Larsson, she is an award-winning journalist who has turned to songwriting as another way to tell stories, reconstructing what we understand a singer-songwriter to be.

Download ‘Colour of Blue
Follow Naomi In Blue on Facebook

If you enjoy today’s 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
#6: Blang Records: Sergeant Buzfuz – In The Bleak Midwinter, Paul Hawkins (Awkward Silences) – Christmas Doesn’t Love Me, Faux Fibbers – All The Nutters Come Out At Christmas
#7: The Scaramanga Six – Dog Form
#8: Hatcham Social – If You Go Down To The Woods Today (Three Cheers for Our Team)
#9: Alcopop! Records – Beach Riot – Modern Dinosaur, Frauds – Woke Life, Tokky Horror – Eden on Acid
#10: The Mining Co. – Last Stop for Tired Reindeer

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