The Joyzine Advent Calendar – 14 Days of Free Music Downloads #21: Holy Popes + The Mining Co.

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.

Today we have a pair of exclusive tracks to whet your appetite for albums due for release in 2023. The self-titled debut LP from Bristolian post-punks Holy Popes is due on 27th January, with Gum Card by Irish born, London based folktronica artist Michael Gallagher, aka The Mining Co. following close behind on 3rd March. We caught up with both to find out more.

Photo of Holy Popes standing in front of a garden fence
Holy Popes

What have you been up to in 2022?

We’ve been self producing and recording our debut album, losing and finding a bass player and releasing our first two singles! pretty busy it seems!

Not to mention wading through all the emotional upheaveal of the state of the world, the overturning of Roe V Wade was a particularly terrifying step backwards.

What do you have planned for next year?

Well our album comes out on the 27th of January so we’ll be focussing on promoting that, touring Ireland in March and hopefully writing album two.

What can you tell us about today’s track?

‘Seance’ is about the overwhelming state of the world. The need to rest, the need to step back and the need to fight. The paradox of activism where taking time out is crucial but also feels massively hypocritical and privileged. Many of us whether we engage in politics or not can step out and step back, but women cannot step away from misogyny, people of colour cannot step away from racism, disabled people cannot step away from ableism

What makes the perfect Christmas song?

Slade? Can’t really beat a glam Christmas song, in my humble opinion. That being said, Run DMC “Christmas in Hollis” is a banger, plus the James Brown Christmas album…I think Mark Lamar might have even made a compilation of old Rhythym and Blues christmas tunes which is amazing. I know that doesn’t answer your question but hey ho.

Download ‘Seance

Follow Holy Popes on Facebook

Holy Popes play an album launch show at The Golden Lion in Bristol on 27th January

Photo of The Mining Co. playing guitar in a field at night
The Mining Co.

What have you been up to in 2022?

In 2022 I spent 3 months looking after my wife who was recovering from a major operation. After that I went to the studio in Spain and worked on my next album, due for release in early 2023.

What do you have planned for next year?

My plans for next year are to write and record an EP with musicians from Spain, who I admire and who I’ve wanted to work with for a long time. I want it recorded all live, as a live set.

What can you tell us about today’s track?

‘Broken Baby Bird’: This track was about how I felt after talking with my wife on the phone after she woke up from her operation. I could only describe her voice as a broken baby bird. I thought this song was fitting for a Christmas playlist, as Christmas is a time of giving, and she gave her kidney to someone else. What a gift.

What makes the perfect Christmas song?

For me, the perfect Christmas song is ‘Last Stop for Tired Reindeer’, a song by The Mining Co. (as featured on last year’s calendar) It is a timeless, romantic sentiment, filled with childhood wonderment and excitement and acknowledges the birth of Jesus.

Download ‘Broken Baby Bird

Fnd out more on The Mining Co.’s official website

If you enjoy the tracks, 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)
Day Fourteen: Chemtrails – Gee Whizz Billy Base
Day Fifteen: Hot Sauce Pony – Just Like Christmas
Day Sixteen: Reckless Yes Records present Breakup Haircut, Nervous Twitch, Feral Five, Electric Pets + The Incomprehensible Static
Day Seventeen: Ree-Vo – Protein (Rob Smith Mix)
Day Eighteen: Brace Yourself Records present Italia 90 + Grandmas House
Day Nineteen: Rookery Ensemble + THE FUTURE THAT NEVER COMES
Day Twenty: Tijuana Hercules + The New Royal Family

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