Hope Is Made of Steel Northcote
- 1This Is Our Time03:31
- 2Bitter End03:14
- 3Small Town Dreams03:40
- 4Hope Is Made of Steel02:54
- 5Leaving Wyoming03:57
- 6You Could Never Let Me Down03:18
- 8Stronger Than You Know02:57
- 9Just Kids03:22
- 10Your Rock and Roll03:09
Info for Hope Is Made of Steel
"Hope Is Made of Steel" is the third full-length album from Northcote, the moniker of Canadian songwriter Matt Goud. The album arrives September 2015 and is an exciting step forward for the hard working artist. 2014 saw Goud and his band mates build their audience around the world with over 160 shows throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and the UK. The new record reflects Northcote's punk rock and folk influences while sonically embracing the rock sound that they have developed through 18 months of near constant touring on the road.
“When I was putting together songs for this record, I wanted to pursue the ones that didn't feel necessarily like Northcote-type songs.” Goud says. There was a big batch that I knew could work and that could fit well with the other records, but I wanted to pursue the material that felt surprising and challenging to me. The record feels vulnerable in that way and reflects some of the experiences I have had in life and from all the touring we have done.”
Hope Is Made of Steel confirms emphatically that Northcote has emerged from a coffee house singer/songwriter into something more fleshed out and fierce. Following years of solo touring around the world, Goud and his band mates Stephen McGillivray (guitar), Mike Battle (bass) and Derek Heathfield (drums) ventured together on Northcote’s European headlining tour and in the Spring of 2015 the same group supported New Jersey icons The Gaslight Anthem on a five-week tour across North America. Northcote’s larger scale full band tours of the past months have foreshadowed Hope Is Made Of Steel, which is forged by Americana-rock electric guitar and soulful hard-hitting rock drums.
"I’ve been touring solo or with various arrangements for almost seven years and I’m in a place where I want to start playing more electric guitar, feeling that energy and freedom you get with playing the songs loud and with the band. With this record it is a priority for me to bring a more dynamic show on the road."
Along with a heavy touring schedule Goud, his wife Brittany and their two dogs Libby and Gigi have uprooted twice in the past year moving from Victoria to Ottawa and back again, nearly 3,000 miles in each direction. The theme of movement and finding ones place in the world continues to be a central theme for Northcote, however this time the feeling is more clearly communicated and soaked in experience.
“In between tours I was writing songs in the basement of Lydia’s bar on Bank Street in Ottawa. When we decided to move back to Victoria, Britt went ahead of the dogs and I to find an apartment. I spent a couple more weeks alone in Ottawa before driving the car across the country with the dogs. Upon arrival in Victoria, I turned around and immediately started tracking the new album in Vancouver that very next weekend. We had the bed tracks done before the moving truck showed up. I think that stress and energy influenced the album positively by allowing me to be more raw and direct in the writing and making of the record.”
Hope Is Made Of Steel was produced by Vancouver-based Musician and Producer Dave Genn (54-40, Hedley, Matthew Good Band). Additional special collaborators and contributors include producer Gavin Brown (Metric, Billy Talent), and guest vocal appearances by Canadian songstress Hannah Georgas, and two of Goud’s biggest influences – Chuck Ragan and Dave Hause.
Goud credits the artists he has toured with in the past two years as influences on his work ethic, and approach to writing and performing live.
“I was lucky enough in the past couple years to support some of my heroes in music. I learned that seizing the moment in front of you is the most important aspect to touring. I look up to musicians like Chuck (Ragan) and Dave (Hause) in particular and how their personality and spirit is so visible in their music. I think there is a lot of dread in that vulnerability, but there is also a type of freedom. I’ve always been attracted to artists who are 'laying-it-on-the-line’, no matter what the genre may be.”
Although the album sounds brave and fresh, there is plenty of dynamic and variety here. ‘Small Town Dreams’ is the third track and represents a progression for the band to a more alternative/modern rock leaning sound. The song tells the story of small town youthful naivety – all the hopes and dreams of the two characters someday making it to the big city. In contrast, the track ‘Leaving Wyoming’ echoes the sensitivity and heart-on-your-sleeve storytelling that of tracks from previous albums such as ‘Speak Freely’ from the album Northcote (2013) and ‘Under the Streetlights’ from the album Gather No Dust (2011).
"There is a clarity to the songs that I think I may have struggled with in the past.” Goud admits. “I remember playing at the Horseshoe in Toronto last summer and a friend asked me what a particular song of mine meant to me, and I didn’t haven’t a very clear answer. I feel on this record, I have written a batch of songs that are more direct and that feels less safe. I challenged myself to be more lyrically direct on this album, and I believe I have accomplished that.”
Matt Goud (aka Northcote) may take you by surprise when he steps up to the mic. Though the soft-spoken Goud is known by friends and family as a gentle giant, he infuses his original songs with a uniquely powerful and confident voice.
Born and raised in small-town Saskatchewan, his early exposure to music was a mix of traditional country on AM radio and the hymns he learned at his childhood church. However, it wasn't until he discovered punk and hardcore music that he realized music’s healing and therapeutic power. Over the past 8 years, few young musicians in Canada have put on as many miles as Goud who toured for years as a member of a post-hardcore band and has more recently transitioned into life on the road as a singer/songwriter with accompaniment by an ever-rotating slew of guests and friend musicians.
Northcote is set to return to centre stage in 2013 with a new self-titled album due May 7th via Black Box Recordings (Canada). Produced by Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Cave Singers, Dan Mangan) at The Hive in Vancouver, the album is Northcote’s most forthcoming and confident album to date, reflecting this young songwriter’s increasing maturity and experience. Breaking the stereotype of the reserved and solemn cafe singer/songwriter, the album entices both the performers and the listeners to come out of their shell.
On NORTHCOTE, Goud further strengthens his voice as an emerging Canadian artist. Confident, full chords replace contemplative ballads, and the influence of his eclectic background of punk, soul and blues create a unique sound.
On the track How Can You Turn Around, the crew vocal soars behind the chorus of the song, replicating the sound and emotion of singing along with friends in the front row of a rock show. Songs including Counting Down the Days and I Hope the Good Things Never Die are more fully realized and richer than Northcote’s previous efforts, replete with grooving soul drums, horns, bouncy bass-lines, atmospheric guitar and sing-along group vocals. These songs signal that there is no need to sit passively by to experience the fast-paced, exuberant music of Northcote. The hope and positivity of the material is apparent in the song Find Our Own Way, which challenges: “…whatever you got, you have to let it fly. Whatever you got you, have to give it one try” This song reflects the anxiety of coming of age in a media-saturated culture, where one can be so connected and yet be left feeling inexplicably lonely and at times with little direction or meaning.
This album sees Goud joined by Blake Enemark (We are the City, Forestry) on Guitar, Marek Tyler (Kathryn Calder, Dan Mangan) on Drums, Olivier Clement (Aidan Knight) on Horn, and Calgary artist Francis Gerrard on vocals throughout the album. Victoria-based musician Kathryn Calder, known both as a solo artist and as a member of The New Pornographers, appears on lead vocals on the late-night kitchen party track Only One Who Knows My Name, which closes the album.
In NORTHCOTE, Goud turns a new page with a strong, self-titled record penned primarily in the passenger seat of a Dodge Van parked along a seaside road in Victoria, B.C. Many pensive nights spent walking home from writing sessions and gigs throughout sleepy Victoria streets have helped shape a newfound confidence and connection to life as a musician for Goud, and you can hear this transformation in his voice.
This album contains no booklet.