Hitting the shelves of your local bottle store this week is our latest Northern Monk Patrons project; Northern Industry, a beer and album produced in collaboration with Hide & Seek Records, Giles Smith (Photographer) and Jon Simmons (Graphic Designer). Northern Monk Patrons is an initiative to promote and foster community, collaboration and creation. Working with local record label Hide & Seek with some of the best emerging independent and DIY bands. We put together an experience aimed to engage more than just your tastebuds. The beer itself is a 6.9% Cascadian Dark Ale.
For those not so familiar with Hide & Seek Records or the bands featured on the compilation, we asked Dan & Sam to give use the lowdown.
If you’re new to Hide & Seek Records we’re a Leeds-based record label, prone to also putting on the occasional gig at various venues around the city. Whilst all our releases have been from local bands we’ve never tied ourselves to a specific sound, just anything we’re enjoying that we we think is deserving of an audience far beyond the city. Northern Industry marks our 20th release and we are proud to have assembled such a strong collection of artists from across the North, all from bands that have captured our attention through their music and mutual independent ethos. The compilation houses eleven tracks, including many new exclusives, primed for whetting the appetites of shoe-gazers, post-punkers, art-rockers and synth-pop fans galore, with plenty more in between. The songs were chosen to complement each other well and they all share varying shades of darkness, the result is a tracklisting that makes a perfect listening accompaniment to the blackened beer.
Battle Lines – Smother (Leeds)
A much loved Leeds band who are now scattered around the globe a bit more, however I’m told their album is all set for release in the early 2016, so definitely keep an eye out for that. ‘Smother’ is a new track taken from that album and a fine example of what they do best – seismic, atmospheric synth–rock.
Big Love – Grief Cycle (Bradford)
Heavy melodic indie rock from Bradford featuring members of Dolphins / This Et Al / Lab Noise. The thundering ‘Grief Cycle’ is another track making its debut on the compilation. We are also lucky enough to be hosting the band at the Northern Monk Takeover at Brudenell Social Club on Saturday 21st November – it’s free entry so come down and check them out with a tasty beer in hand!
By The Sea – Gatekeeper (The Wirral)
Hailing from Birkenhead and around the Wirral (New Jersey to Liverpool’s New York, according to the band), By the Sea can often be found moonlighting as Bill Ryder-Jones’ backing band, but we know them as a wonderful band in their own right. ‘Gatekeeper’, which happens to be produced by Bill, is another dose of their unique brand of “escape pop”, combining the keen sense of melody of past-loved Merseyside acts and the lush 80’s soundscapes of bands like The Cure and The Cocteau Twins.
Department M – Stress Class (Leeds)
One of the Hide & Seek Records gang! We’ve had the pleasure of releasing two singles by Department M and there is debut album news to come very soon! Artfully produced 80s inspired synth-pop with plenty of bite and featuring one of the city’s finest vocalists.
HARTHEIM – WELCOMETOHARTHEIM (Manchester)
A relatively new band we discovered via the infamous Salford label Sways Records. Within minutes of hearing them we knew their dark, brooding rock would be perfect for what we are trying to achieve with this compilation. They are an intriguing, unique proposition and hopefully we’ll see a debut album emerge in 2016.
Molars – Roles (Leeds)
Hide & Seek have been loving Molars since we first saw the new band in an early support slot at the Brudenell Social Club last year. They describe themselves as a noisy pop band, but there’s plenty of dark post-punk and krautrock chops in there too. Roles is a brand new track from a band to keep an eye on, if you like it you can download their EP for free on the below link.
Moonwreck – Indio (Whitby/Leeds)
Arguably Whitby’s best export since fish and chips, Moonwreck are one of many modern bands clearly taken with the hugely influential shoegazing scene of the early 1990s. ‘Indio’ is a beautiful piece of shimmering, ethereal melancholia which builds to a powerful, crashing finale. Think the best bits of early 4AD and Creation Records (early Slowdive in particular), and you’re along the right lines.
New Woman – The First Time (Leeds)
The Northern Industry compilation is fittingly the first time that people will get to hear The First Time. A raucous and wild five minutes of garage-rock noise from the elusive duo.
Post War Glamour Girls – Shell of a Man (Leeds)
The second band from our Hide & Seek roster to feature on the compilation and a band familiar to many in Leeds. We’ve just released their second album ‘Feeling Strange’ and the response has been fantastic, despite a slight change in sound their fans have completely embraced it. ‘Shell of a Man’ is taken from this album and is a fine demonstration of charismatic frontman James Smith’s dextrous vocal character.
Then Thickens – Cum Summer (Manchester)
Then Thickens come to us via our label-brethren friends at Hatch Records. As the name suggests ‘Cum Summer’ is a naughty rock and roll affair; half sordid lyrics, half massive choruses. It’s taken from their second album Chronic which has just been released.
Ultras – This Is Where I Fall (Glasgow)
Our Scottish representatives and one of the very first bands to be approached regarding the compilation. Many years ago when Hide & Seek first started putting on gigs we had the pleasure of putting on a mega-ace indie-pop duo called Over The Wall. That was a long time go though and recently Gav Prentice has formed a new band and all together exciting proposition in Ultras. When I first heard the early version of This Is Where I Fall, I was instantly floored by it. A mammoth tune that crams in fiery guitars and northern grit. Last but by no means least.