Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Jaggery and Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys in performances last year and in 2008, respectively. (Photos: Prehensile Eye)

The trees are being carted out to the curb and look — there are two presents here that never got opened.

In this metaphor, though, that’s not as nice as it sounds, since in this metaphor what’s inside the boxes had something of an expiration date: Christmas music.

With some guilt, here are links to two free songs that should have been posted promptly Dec. 21 and 25.

But since the bands Jaggery and Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys aren’t the sort to record the kind of Christmas music that’s been pounding away at the nation’s skulls for the past two months, maybe it’s not too late for a listen.

Jaggery, whose mesmerizing theatrical sound has come to be known as darkwave jazz, recorded Tchaikovsky’s “Arabian Dance” from “The Nutcracker Suite,” and it’s predictably mesmerizing. Get the download here.

The Army, theatrical in its own rambunctious and pleasantly dangerous way, recorded and posted a rediscovered song written by Sickert when he was 14. “I found a box from my childhood not burned in our family fire,” he explained in an e-mail. “Inside was a notebook full of morbid teenage poems, and one was about Christmas.”

The song, “SlitWrist for Christmas,” was posted Dec. 24 via Facebook and Twitter, where some 400 people responded, the band said. The e-mail went out the next day, linking to the download here. The song is accompanied by a sheet of lyrics and a front and back cover — which is awfully nice production quality for a free download.

Fans have about a year to listen to the songs blissfully free of context before they become relevant again.

In the meantime, Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys returns to First Night, playing the Hynes Convention Center on Dec. 31 with five other musical treasures (including Sickert spinoff  Meff ’n Jojo’s Tiny Instrument Revue.) Jaggery lead Mali Sastri has no shows scheduled until Jan. 18, when she performs “Hypothesis:  Past v. Future” at The Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain. The band isn’t scheduled to be back in Cambridge until Feb. 6 at a Lily Pad show called “Winter” curated by Brian King, of the band What Time Is It, Mr. Fox.