A woman in a santa hat holding a turkey and a skull surrounded by a Christmas wreath with the number 14 in the foreground

The Joyzine Advent Calendar – 24 Days of Free Music Downloads #14: Chemtrails

On the Joyzine Advent Calendar we’re giving away free downloads of tracks by artists that we love (including plenty of exclusives and a fair few festive favourites) every day until Christmas Eve on what, as far as we’re aware (and we’re always happy to be corrected), is the longest running such calendar on the web.

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 Child Poverty Action Group, who work on behalf of the more than one in four children currently growing up in poverty in the UK by providing support to families navigating the social security system, taking legal action to challenge unjust decisions and campaigning for change. You can make a donation on this link.

A woman in a santa hat holding a turkey and a human skull

One of the few positives to come out of lockdown was the online Balcony Festivals that we organised alongside a host of other fabulous blogs and promoters, and the new bands that we discovered through the process. The absolute highlight for me in that respect was Chemtrails, whose day-glo garage psych set completely blew me away. Today we have an exclusive (sort of) Christmas tune that will hopefully do the same for you.

We caught up with Laura from the band to see what they’ve got happening in the new year.

What have you been up to in 2022?

Having moved to Manchester just before Covid, it took us a while to get the band up to full speed, but 2022 has been a great year for us: a new drummer, Liam, joined the band and we also finally got a keys player, Richey (lead singer of Manchester local legends Furrowed Brow). We’ve played a load of gigs around various local venues in Manchester (including supporting Dream Wife for their Manchester tour gig), and also went to Cardiff and London.

One of the year’s highlights was making an insane music video with the amazing director Rick McCullaugh for our last single, ‘Eternal Shame’ – have a look if you haven’t seen it yet:

Most of the year was spent writing, practicing and recording our next album though.

What do you have planned for next year?

We’re gonna release our third album (release date tbd, but around summertime). We’re very excited about this one – it definitely feels like a step forwards for us musically, combining a lot of the elements from all our previous records but making it all a bit more danceable, and somehow weirder at the same time. 

Having mixed all our previous albums ourselves, we naturally thought we’d try it again this time, but we were really struggling to get a sound we were happy with, and slowly descending into mixing hell – just total despair and self doubt. Eventually we saw sense and decided to get professional help. We were really lucky to – by sheer chance – run into producer Margo Broom (Fat White Family, Big Joanie, Goat Girl) at former Chemtrails bassist Laura’s wedding, and we’re now making the album with her. It’s been difficult to give up total control but we love what Margo is doing with it.

And obviously we’re gonna be touring the album around the UK and Europe later in the summer!

What can you tell us about today’s track?

We recorded this mildly idiotic track, ‘Gee Whizz Billy Base’ late last December, when Mia and I had a long day of festive cheer at home, and late at night decided to make a Christmassy song – where in this instance “Christmassy” just means it has some jingling bells. We took a no-hesitations-allowed approach, just “whatever the first idea is, that’s what goes in”, so we finished the whole thing in a long night.

It was a bit late to do anything with it last year, as there’s nothing worse than Christmas songs after Christmas, so this year’s Joyzine calendar was the perfect opportunity to release this musical atrocity into the world.

It’s dedicated to Chemtrails’ little helper.

What makes the perfect Christmas song?

Lots of bells. Certain ice-melting bittersweet chord changes seem to be a Christmas song archetype too, so you’ve gotta have those in there.

Download – Gee Whizz Billy Base

Follow Chemtrails on Facebook / Twitter / Bandcamp

If you enjoy the track, we’d love you to consider making a donation to Child Poverty Action Group

Check back every day until Christmas Eve for more free music – if you’ve missed a day, you’ll find all of this year’s tracks so far on the links below. Merry Christmas everyone!

Day One: Piney Gir – Do Good For Goodness Sake
Day Two: Lost Map Records present Firestations – Swim Under The Winter
Day Three: LOUD WOMEN present Killdren – Expect a Crimewave
Day Four: Scratchy Records present The Rocks, Jonny Cola & The A-Grades, Bromide + Coach Hop
Day Five: Deux Furieuses – Bring Down The Government Home Demo
Day Six: Extradition Order – Bold
Day Seven: Blang Records present Thomas Truax + Faux Fibbers
Day Eight: Alcopop! Records present Dream Nails + Helen Love
Day Nine: MiKey & The SkEletons – On and On
Day Ten: Ben Fox Smith – Human Rights
Day Eleven: Nini Bong + The Fades
Day Twelve: The May + Xqui
Day Thirteen: Hey You Guys! – Onward Christian Soldiers (live)

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