The Joyzine Advent Calendar – 24 Days of Free Music Downloads! #24: Stephen Evens, Tiny Wood (Ultrasound), Mega Emotion + Black Salmon

Yesterday’s Advent Calendar treats came from Peaness and Toby Goodshank – get your free downloads here. Today we reach the finale of this year’s festive selection and after 24 days and an incredible 60 fantastic free tracks from a glittering array of artists, we’ve still got a few aces up our sleeves as we bring the 2021 Joyzine Advent Calendar to a close

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.

Christmas Eve is a time for friends and family, so we’ve put together four tracks from artists and bands who’ve played a part in Joyzine’s history in one way or another. Let’s find out who’s bringing the tunes…

Stephen Evens ft. Andrew “Tiny” Wood – Rosemary & Bay

A long-time Joyzine favourite who’s appeared on the site in many guises over the years, Stephen Evens released one of our favourite albums of last year, Employee of The Month, and today we’ve got a track specially written and recorded for the calendar. We’ll let him tell you more…

I’m going to try and make this a “tradition” of sorts that I write a Christmas song each year. I love Christmas, I won’t stand for any humbuggery. I’m about as religious as a mobile disco but this is my favourite week of the year. Can’t help but feel the joy.

I am very proud that not only is this being released in the same advent calendar window as another track “Grace” by Andrew Wood (aka Tiny from Ultrasound) but it is also shared with my friends Mega Emotion and Nick from Fonda 500s progeny band Black Salmon.

I applied the William D. Drake method to this one and searched for a fitting 17th century poem. I read about 30 of them and finally fell upon Thrice Welcome! An anonymously penned poem about preparing for the feasting. It also cocks a snook at those who eschew the season (which meant I could put away the other contender I was writing called “Humbugger Off”).

I was also honoured to collaborate with my friend Tiny on this who played the Harmonium and the part of The Ghost Of Christmas Future. My beautiful wife played the part of The Spirit Of Christmas. I play the part of Bob Evens….no I don’t, this is becoming ridiculous.

Here are the words if you would like to sing along.

Rosemary & Bay

Now thrice welcome, Christmas,
Which brings us good cheer,
Minced-pies and plum porridge,
Good ale and strong beer;

With pig, goose, and capon,
The best that may be,
So well doth the weather
And our stomachs agree.

With holly and ivy
So green and so gay,
We deck up our houses
As fresh as the day;

With rosemary and bay.
And laurel complete;
And every one now
Is a king in conceit.

Observe how the chimneys
Do smoke all about;
The cooks are providing
For dinner, no doubt;

But those on whose tables
No victuals appear,
O may they keep Lent
All the rest of the year.

With holly and ivy
So green and so gay,
We deck up our houses
As fresh as the day;

With rosemary and bay.
And laurel complete;
And every one now
Is a king in conceit.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I hope that the rotten germs don’t infiltrate or ruin your Christmas too much. One day this will all be a distant memory. Take care, my friends.   

Download ‘Rosemary & Bay
You can also hear Stephen’s entry to last year’s calendar, ‘A Little Solstice Hymn’, here
Follow Stephen Evens on Facebook

Andrew “Tiny” Wood ft. Stephen Evens – Grace

And speaking of Andrew “Tiny” Wood, frontman of Ultrasound whose debut LP Everything Picture got a well-deserved reissue this year via One Little Independent Records (read our interview with the band here), and frequent contributor to these pages, he’s also contributed a track, ‘Grace’, with Stephen Evens repaying the favour by collaborating on his festive offering.

Download ‘Grace
Find out more about Ultrasound on their official website
Read Andrew’s articles on Joyzine

Mega Emotion – We All Stand Together

Another band that we’ve loved for years, both in their current split-personality guises as synth-pop wizards Mega Emotion and grunge rockers Lady Di and in their previous incarnation, John Peel indie faves Bearsuit. Mega Emotion played at our fifteenth birthday gig, which at the time we hadn’t realised was going to be our last for a couple of years (despite several covid-frustrated attempts since).

They’ve recorded their own suitably odd version of Paul McCartney’s 1984 top five festive chart novelty hit ‘We All Stand Together’, more commnly known as ‘The Frog Chorus’. We wondered why on earth anyone would do such a thing, then listened and it all made some kind of bizarre sense, as they explain:

The best Christmas tune of all time or the worst, you decide. Pretty sure our cover is as weird as you’d expect and has been described as ‘bonkers and beautiful’, ‘FamilyFodder-esque’, ‘suspiciously lacking in frogs’ and ‘What on earth have you done?’

The track originally featured on the excellent sold out A Very Cherry Christmas Vol. 15 compilation, along with fellow Advent Calendar artists DUCK.

Download ‘We All Stand Together
Find out more on Mega Emotion’s official website

Black Salmon – I’m Sorry I Can’t Hear You, I’m Dead

Our final entry for this year’s calendar is a true family affair, brought to us by Nicholas Broten of Hull indie disco legends Fonda 500. Black Salmon is comprised of his children – Walter on drums, Linus on bass and Edwin on guitar – with an average age of 7. I know you’re think that by all rights this should be awful but instead, ‘I’m Sorry I Can’t Hear You, I’m Dead’ is a haunting, restrained modern blues with a punky sting in its tail, and today we’ve got an exclusive live recording to round off the calendar.

Download ‘I’m Sorry I Can’t Hear You, I’m Dead
Follow Black Salmon on Facebook

And that’s it for another year! Thank you to everyone who’s visited the calendar over the past three and a half weeks, we’ll be back after Christmas with more of our usual nonsense. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

If you enjoy today’s tracks, please consider making a donation to Help Musicians

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
Omnibael – The Repetition
#13: The Fades – People In General
Silent Star – To Hell or Hackney (Too Late)
#14: Reckless Yes Records
Paper Birch – Summer Daze (Mild Peril Remix)
Nervous Twitch – You Ruined Christmas + Boredom & Distraction
Bitch Hunt – Shapeshifter
LIINES – Keep On Going
Duck – Santa Claus (ft. Charley Stone)
Hearts Beating In Time – Simone’s
The Crystal Furs – Drinking Alone On Christmas
French for Rabbits – Money or The Bag (Alternative Live Version)
Japan Review – Lose Them All

#15: Dedstrange Records
Plattenbau – Hollywood
Data Animal – Future Primitive
Jealous – K-Hole
Lunacy – Dust
A Place To Bury Strangers – Let’s See Each Other (Grimoose Remix)
Wah Together – Sayonara

#16: Another Christmas: ESKA & Duke Garwood – Silent Night
#17: Bird’s Robe Records
Furnace & the FUndamentals – Giving In The Name Of
Toehider – Carol of The Bells
clayhands – Polars

#18: Joyzine writers
Wonderland – Vampyre
Skylon – Adeline
Maps & Muir – All I Want for Christmas Is a Dukla Prague Away Kit

#19: Buds & Spawn
Emergence Collective – division iii
Michael Woodman – Petrichor
New Ghost – Burning Out (Live Lockdown Session)

#20: The Kunts – A Lonely Wank In a Travelodge
#21: LOUD WOMEN – Reclaim These Streets
I Am HER – Heretic
Sulk 93 – The Eyes In The Wall
I, Doris – In The Ladies

#22: Rocklands
Jean Genie’s Massive Hugs – Oh Bondage! Up Yours!
Elephants & Castles – Without You

#23: Peaness – What’s The Use
Toby Goodshank – Baby I Fell Like I Just Got Cut In Half

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