The Joyzine Advent Calendar – 24 Days of Free Music Downloads! #14: Reckless Yes Records ft. Paper Birch, Nervous Twitch, Bitch Hunt, LIINES, Duck, Hearts Beating In Time, The Crystal Furs, French for Rabbits + Japan Review

Yesterday’s Advent Calendar provided a double whammy of free downloads from West London soul punks The Fades and coldwave duo Silent Star, who will be sharing a stage at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston-Upon-Thames on Friday night – get your free downloads here. Today we have a veritable Santa’s sack full of free music in our biggest Advent Calendar giveaway this year, 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.

Let’s find out who’s supplying today’s musical bonanza…

One of the most consistently excellent independent labels of the past few years, Reckless Yes Records is home to a host of Joyzine favourites as well as being a bastion of independent ethical values. They’ve made no secret of the pressures of running a DIY label in these troubling times (check out co-owner Sarah’s post on the topic here) or of the tremendous support music fans have shown by signing up to their membership scheme which provides subscribers with all of the label’s releases for a year – find out more here.

We’ve already featured on member of the RY roster on this year’s calendar, with Piney Gir in her traditional spot behind our first window, and today we have a mountain of free music from her label-mates.

Paper Birch

Anyone who’s been following Joyzine for a while will know of our editor Paul Maps’ fervent affection for 90s Scottish geek rock band Urusei Yatsura, so you can begin to imagine his delight when Reckless Yes announced the release of an album by Paper Birch – a collaboration between UY’s Fergus Lawrie and Dee Sada of NEUMES. The duo released their debut album MORNINGHAIRWATER through the label this year, which the pair describe as “A fervent correspondence of lyrics, ideas and sounds between London and Glasgow… sharing their mutual feelings of despair, fragility and hope.

For today’s calendar they’ve provided a remix of single ‘Summer Daze’ by London-based electronic musician Mild Peril.

Download ‘Summer Daze (Mild Peril Remix)

Find out more on Paper Birch’s official website

Photo by Roz Doherty

Nervous Twitch

Leeds-based punk-pop trio Nervous Twitch are a band who like to keep themselves busy and have outdone themselves by offering two tracks for today’s calendar. They released their self-titled fourth album through Reckless Yes earlier this year, from which today’s first track ‘Boredom and Dissatisfaction’ is taken and have spent the intervening months writing their fifth as well as making their lockdown dreams a reality by planning an all-dayer: Part Time Punks, which will take place on 30th April at Wharf Chambers in Leeds – details and tickets here.

They’ve also found time to get in the festive spirit, playing Some Weird Sin’s X-Mas Party at Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney on 17th December with fellow Joyzine faves Slime City (tickets here) and recording a brand new festive track, ‘You Ruined Christmas’ for the 15th edition of the endlessly excellent A Very Cherry Christmas compilation, which we’re delighted to present to you as their second Advent Calendar offering today.

Download ‘You Ruined Christmas
Download ‘Boredom and Dissatisfaction

Follow Nervous Twitch on Facebook

Photo by Glenn Michael Harper

Bitch Hunt

London-based queercore quartet Bitch Hunt formed at the wonderful London DIY music institution First Timers Fest, with vocalist Sian following the festival’s ethos of giving back by working as an organiser for the 2020 edition, which our own Paul Maps was giving a go at before Covid intervened (read the article here).

They joined forces with Reckless Yes to release their debut EP Shapeshifter, from which they’ve provided the title track for this year’s calendar. Taking its cue from 90s grunge, alt rock and indie, they describe the EP as “a record about heartbreak and struggle, but community and friendship too.

Download ‘Shapeshifter
If you enjoy this track please consider donating to Bitch Hunt’s chosen charity Refugee Community Kitchen

Follow Bitch Hunt on Facebook


Manchester post-punk trio LIINES have been part of the Reckless Yes family since 2016, releasing an album, Stop-Start, two years later (get it on Bandcamp) and have since gone on to tour with Sleaford Mods, support the likes of Ash, Hot Snakes and Slow Readers Club and in 2020 were named The Manchester Evening News’ Breakthrough Artist of The Year.

They released their latest single ‘Keep On Going’ in September, and today we’re delighted to offer it as a free Advent Calendar download.

Catch LIINES live in the new year at The Trades Club in Hebden Bridge on 3rd February as part of Independent Venues Week (tickets) and supporting Joyzine faves Desperate Journalist at Lafeyette in London on 19th February (tickets). They have also been announced for Futurama Festival, Liverpool; Spring Gathering, Derbyshire; and Kendal Calling – with more to be announced.

Download ‘Keep On Going

Find out more on LIINES’ official website


Reckless Yes teamed up with Leeds three-piece Duck this year for a vinyl re-issue of their 2020 LP There Are No Normal Conversations Any More.

They’ve since been busy writing its follow-up and booking gigs and hope to have new material to share in 2022.

Today they’ve provided us with a festive cover version featuring a proper indie guitar hero, (which also features on the ace A Very Cherry Christmas album) as the band explain.

We covered “Santa Claus” at the very beginning of DUCK at a Christmas gig in Sheffield and have posted the live vid every year since in the hope that a kindred spirit would appreciate it. 🙂 Charley Stone (solo artist/guitarist with Desperate Journalist/Salad /Sleeper +) commented on our Twitter post last year and she said she was singing the backing vocals along with it and that it was one of her all-time favourites. We realised we were all mad Throwing Muses fans and vowed to perform it together someday so were thrilled when Cherryade Records got in touch to see if we could contribute a song to 2021’s A Very Cherry Christmas compilation.

We immediately messaged her to say that the stars had aligned and we got on with recording at our respective homes. The Cherryade Records compilation is only available on limited edition CD and is now sold out, but you can listen to/download this exclusive version of the track remixed especially for the Joyzine Advent Calendar!! Thank you so much to Charley for being Tanya to Sarah’s Kristin and to Joyzine for asking us to be part of this. We are v proud to be part of the Reckless Yes fam.

Download ‘Santa Claus (ft. Charley Stone)

Follow Duck on Facebook

Hearts Beating In Time

Hearts Beating In Time is the glitchy lo-fi electronic dreampop solo project of singer-songwriter Rebecca Thuelma. Based between Berlin and Malta, she released her second album Songs for Girls (the follow up to Songs for Boys) via Reckless Yes last year.

Rebecca says that HBIT “melodiously embodies metamodern sensibilities fuelled by a fascination with the struggle between feelings of hope and futility, the disappointment of losing love, and the highs of fleeting encounters, along with the naivety of unknowingly finding meaning in the meaningless.

She’s provided a demo version of ‘Simone’s’ – a track from the album. This is the original version written in her bedroom.

Download ‘Simone’s

Follow Hearts Beating in Time on Facebook and Spotify

The Crystal Furs

Another of the label’s overseas recruits, indiepop trio The Crystal Furs hail from Portland, Oregon and last year released their third album, Beautiful and True.

Today they’ve provided alterntive X-mas anthem ‘Drinking Alone On Christmas’, which they describe as “a peppy holiday tune for all the misfits, misanthropes, and social outcasts, and possibly the only Christmas song revolving around alcohol, queerness, and catgirls. It’s about not fitting in with the typical holiday activities and assembling your own Christmas found family.

Download ‘Drinking Alone On Christmas

Find out more on The Crystal Furs’ official website

French for Rabbits

New Zealand dream-pop quintet French for Rabbits hooked up with Reckless Yes as part of a globe-spanning partnership with Antipodean label AAA Records and Italian imprint A Modest Proposal, who joined forces for the release of this year’s The Overflow album.

For today’s Advent Calendar window the band have provided an alternative live recording of album track ‘Money or The Bag’, taken from a live video recording that they’ll be sharing with the world soon.

Download ‘Money or The Bag (alternative live version)

Follow French for Rabbits on Facebook and Instagram

Japan Review

Experimental pop duo Japan Review released their debut album, Kvetch Sounds, this year through Reckless Yes, who describe their sound as “sad dance music”.

Today’s free download ‘Lose Them All’ is taken from the recording sessions for the LP but didn’t quite fit with the finished record. “It’s a track we really love,” they explain, “and it was the first time we started programming with the drum machine.

Download ‘Lose Them All

Follow Japan Review 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
#11: Sonic Tonic: Firestations – Long Year City, The Leaf Library – Tired Ghost, Shattercones – In The Bleak Midwinter, Maggie The Cat – The Cherry Tree Carol, Naomi In Blue – Colour of Blue
#12: Cruel Nature Records: Distant Animals – Hyperacusis, Omnibale – The Repetition
#13: The Fades – People In General, Silent Star – To Hell or Hackney (Too Late)

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