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.
For today’s Advent Calendar treats we’re joined by a label who’ve been promoting excellent new bands since before Joyzine was even a twinkle in my eye. Fierce Panda Records put out their first record in 1994, releasing a slew of singles, albums and puntastic compilation EPs that read back like a who’s who (and occasionally who should have been who) of indie music since the mid-nineties including Mogwai, Kenickie, Placebo, Idlewild, Coldplay and many more. Almost forty years later they’re still releasing music by some of the best and brightest the UK music scene has to offer. Today we have tracks from two of them – Enjoyable Listens and Solar Eyes. We caught up with both to find out how 2022 has been treating them.
What have you been up to in 2022?
Solar Eyes: We started our Fierce Panda journey, releasing our first ever EP in April ‘Dreaming of the Moon’ to coincide with our first ever gig at Muthers Studio in our beloved Birmingham. The EP got played on all sorts from Lamacq, to BT Sport features and everything in between. Then we did a second EP ‘Alcatraz’ released in October which also got loads of radio and press. But it’s been a great year, a highlight playing Moseley Arts festival in September with Supergrass. But the real icing on the cake was – while watching ‘Made in Chelsea’ with my partner Emma – in which we she proclaimed she would only think I’ve made it if one of our tunes was played on the show, while patting on me on the head as if to say never happening. Last week I received an email asking if it was ok to be played on there, the satisfaction I got from sending Emma a message telling her what had happened was truly great.
Enjoyable Listens: Been playing a million shows which included Glastonbury, SXSW, New Colossus Festival, Focus Wales. Gigs in Holland & Germany too. Had some good times. Made some new mates.
What do you have planned for next year?
Solar Eyes: We have a single in January ‘Naked Monkey on a Spaceship’ which proceeds the EP of the Same name, out in March. Then a little trip out to the states to play Texas SXSW, which is going to be mega. Plus more shows and festivals and then I reckon an album before the end of 2023.
Enjoyable Listens: Going for 2 million gigs next year. It’s possible. Have some big shows to announce and more releases. First need to recharge with some Xmas time off.
What can you tell us about today’s track?
Solar Eyes: I took influence from the film ‘Escape from Alcatraz’ – Clint Eastwood in his pomp. But the track is a bit of a foot stomping Glam Rock vibe, sort of BRMC a bit too… dark and moody. Howling guitars. Live it’s a belter. I wrote it about a situation, I just couldn’t seem to escape from. But actually did in the end – so yeah was like therapy…
Enjoyable Listens: This track is called ‘Yellow Almond Forest’ and was a single a little while back with help from my label Fierce Panda. It’s a fave. It’s a rave.
What makes the perfect Christmas song?
Solar Eyes: Ah – so my favourites are ‘Fairytale of New York’ – The Pogues, ‘Christmas time, don’t let the bells end’ – The Darkness and I proper like Justin Casablancas one about 10 years ago. So I’m thinking a bit of humour, but dark. Funny time of the year isn’t it – like I had a rough one last year and man it makes you evaluate things pretty quickly. Makes you think – Nah I ain’t doing that again. So yeah maybe I need to write a dark Xmas tune with a bit of joy in there…
Enjoyable Listens: Sleigh bells are essential! We consulted some experts and this is officially the correct answer. Egg nog too but you can’t hear that. Just feel it. Merry Xmas.
Find out more on Fierce Panda’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
Day Twenty-One: Holy Popes + The Mining Co.