With 4 weeks to go…

With 4 weeks to go…

Letterbox Music News


It’s official: 2023 is the Year of the Robot. You heard it here first!

My Obey Robots collaboration album “One In A Thousand” will be released into the world in four weeks and one day, on Friday 24th February.

Oh my. That’s soon!

This is a super indie release on my own label, so the best way to support the album is to order direct from us. You’ll get access to the full range of music and merch – not available anywhere else! – PLUS immediate download links for four songs, with one more sent to you before 24th February.

Several items are running low: we have three limited edition vinyl colours left, signed and unsigned CDs, cassettes, signed lyric books, four tee designs, hoodies, badge packs and pick tins containing a signed bass pick from me and guitar pick from Rat!

This week in Robot land…

Miles Hunt (of The Wonder Stuff) was the first non-Robot to receive a copy of the album on vinyl. After inspiring teenage Laura to join her first band, befriending a young Rat and then introducing the two of us in 2019, it was the least we could do to say THANK YOU.

Have you heard his brilliant new solo album yet? (I sing on two songs – dreams can come true…)

What about record shops?

If you’re waiting til release day to pick up a copy of “One In A Thousand” from your local record shop, that’s very cool. Up the indies! However, as this is a super independent release it won’t be stocked unless it’s requested…by YOU. 

The record is distributed through SRD, so if you tell them you want a copy they can get in touch with them and sort it out – though they won’t have access to any of the limited edition colours in the shop.

What about Bandcamp?

I still love Bandcamp, I do – but they make pre-orders very difficult. No bundling options, no clear way of categorising music and merch, no accurate way of counting sales towards the charts… My label operates out of my home studio, and I don’t currently have bandwidth to juggle inventory across two platforms. I appreciate this makes ordering from the EU a VAT-shaped problem, so I will be adding some items to Bandcamp after the first week of release.

Thanks for your understanding, and if you order from my shop and would like a complimentary Bandcamp download code sent to you, just leave me a note at checkout.

Thank you so much for supporting this album, you’re the absolute best.

FOUR WEEKS!

Love,
Laura xxx

Thank you for visiting!

🎁 Get two free songs and stories here.

🎸 Listen to my latest album “Exotic Monsters” and browse my back catalogue.

🎥 Browse my YouTube channel for adventures in sound & songwriting.

🎹 Get exclusive member perks in The Correspondent’s Club.

💬 Chat with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

See you soon xo

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Why I shot a music video using Quicktime player and made it look like a Zoom call…

Why I shot a music video using Quicktime player and made it look like a Zoom call…

Creativity Letterbox Music News Process Releases Singles


Originally released in December 2020, “Let It Snow” wasn’t just the first Obey Robots single, it was the first song we completed (in December 2020!).

It was a test:

-> can we make music together?
-> do we love what we made?
-> does anyone want to hear it?

If the answer to the first two questions had been “no”, you would never have heard of Obey Robots. And if the answer to the second question was “yes”, the answer to the third question would never stop me anyway.

Happily, the answer to the second question was HELL YES! – and the overwhelmingly positive response from music fans was the icing on the cake. A cake full of riffs! 🎂🎸


For this new video, I decided to invite you in to get a sense of what the collaboration process was like for Rat and I.

By December 2020 we’d only met in person twice, so all communication was by email and occasional Zoom calls. We were always speaking from our individual creative spaces, which I think helped us both to feel more confident talking to someone we didn’t know that well.

I got so used to seeing Rat on my computer screen that it still surprises me when we meet up – he’s very tall!

Most of the video was shot using Quicktime player. We’ve all grown perhaps too familiar with the particular quality of footage you get on video calls, so I wanted to retain that to bring you right into the middle of things.

All the footage up to the instrumental was shot individually and separately: me in my home studio, Rat in his. And then – well, I don’t want to ruin the plot twist, you’ll just have to watch!

Being creative doesn’t require fancy equipment or a big team of people. You can achieve a lot with just an idea, some basic gear and the drive to complete something. That’s how our album was made, and how everything else we’re sharing is being made. That’s how I’ve always worked.

This is real people making real music about real things. I hope you enjoy it.

Love,
Laura xo

-> PRE-ORDER “One In A Thousand” by Obey Robots now – out on 24th February 2023! You’ll receive four songs immediately, with another beaming into your inbox before the album release.

Thank you for supporting independent music!

Thank you for visiting!

🎁 Get two free songs and stories here.

🎸 Listen to my latest album “Exotic Monsters” and browse my back catalogue.

🎥 Browse my YouTube channel for adventures in sound & songwriting.

🎹 Get exclusive member perks in The Correspondent’s Club.

💬 Chat with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

See you soon xo

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Taking small steps

Taking small steps

Letterbox Mindfulness Process

Comics class has been cancelled due to lack of interest, and my Zoom H6 Handy recorder won’t turn on. I managed to wipe the battery compartment clear of crusty white goo, but it was too late. The damage was done. Game over. I had some luck selling broken cameras on eBay a few years ago so I’ll see what I can get for the remains.

In 2022 I would have taken these slights personally; 2023 and I are just getting to know one another.

I keep forgetting about having had Covid. How lucky is that – I am so thankful that TOUCH ALL THE WOOD its obvious effects have already gone. I started the year gently, with daily yoga and meditation, but this week I went on three very huffy-puffy runs and am getting back into Blogilates routines.

I feel like a different person.

This morning (Saturday) I tried to sleep in past my 6am alarm, but just lay there wide awake thinking about writing and working out. So…I got up, worked out, and am writing.

I’ve written every day since 3rd January. Three longhand pages of whatever blah blah blah comes out of my brain first thing (aka Morning Pages), plus 30 minutes of timed writing in another notebook, sitting at my desk under the window. It’s still dark outside, and completely quiet, and the leaves from my Monstera plant make silhouettes against the slowly brightening sky.

Quiet is the thing I crave most, these days. I need to hear my thoughts.

It’s important to me that these sessions are analogue, because I always have something to show for them. The delight I feel looking at the photo at the top of this post is incalculable – and nerdy. I made those squiggles! I had those thoughts! I put the time in! I can do this.

I’m doing it. Taking small steps.

What small steps will you take in 2023?



Thank you for visiting!

🎁 Get two free songs and stories here.

🎸 Listen to my latest album “Exotic Monsters” and browse my back catalogue.

🎥 Browse my YouTube channel for adventures in sound & songwriting.

🎹 Get exclusive member perks in The Correspondent’s Club.

💬 Chat with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

See you soon xo

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A fresh direction for 2023

A fresh direction for 2023

Creativity Letterbox Mindfulness Music News


A snoozy day, punctuated by washing piles of soft furnishings and spraying the entire house with Indorex. Surprise baths for reluctant pooches. Flea and worming tablets doled out a few days early. All just in case…but I had a feeling. Just writing about the thought of it makes my skin prickle. Ugh.

I’m still “off work”. I fell ill mid-November after going to see my first gig since 2019 (Gary Barlow’s one-man show – brilliant), so the end of year go-slow started early, but then, in early December – Covid. First-time Covid. Game over.

Unable to do much, I’m in rest and research mode: reading, writing, watching videos on topics that pique my interest. Today I watched videos about field recording and how to sample your own sounds, and made a list of the music production techniques I want to learn and practise in 2023.

Spurred into action, I bring my Zoom H6 recorder down from the studio for a cleanup. Since I paused my podcast this time last year I’ve rarely used it, and the machine has responded to its neglect by letting some batteries fizz and melt in their compartment. Cheers.

I bought a vat of white vinegar a while back for occasions such as these, but it’s probably in the shed, and it’s raining out, so I look for the next best thing. I waver between cider apple vinegar and white wine vinegar, and go for the latter to avoid staining. It works.

Rest is essential (I read that all the time), and I’m enjoying my cosy sofa duvet nest, but I’m starting to feel restless. I haven’t felt itching-to-get-started for months: overwhelmed, stuck and hopeless are three words that sum up much of my 2022. I’m finally starting to feel excited about making things again.

I think it’s because I’ve managed to stay away from external distractions long enough to hear the quiet voice inside urging me onto new and old topics of interest: field recording, sampling, cardboard art. Sculpting with air drying clay. Creating dioramas in boxes and box frames. Blogging! Twitter hasn’t been a satisfying place to write in YEARS and I still love reading (and writing) blog posts. Consider this one a statement of intent.

I’ve signed up for a Cartoons and Comics evening class in town. I’m thinking about creating sample packs using sounds from my solo albums so far. Instead of reminding myself of all the things I didn’t manage to do in 2022 and dragging them all along with me, I’m starting a fresh new list for 2023.

My break includes my YouTube channel: after successfully uploading videos for 52 weeks in a row I’ve stepped back to ponder my next move. I want everything I do to be part of a coherent world I create – I don’t want a hugely successful YouTube channel about cheese, delicious as that may be. It’s a fun challenge to make videos that fit with what I already make, packaging them with the right thumbnail and title to pique the interest of viewers who might not know me yet, as well as those who do.

A phrase pops into my mind, a fresh direction for the year ahead: “adventures in sound and songwriting”. That sounds like a fun year.

Will you join me? xx

Thank you for visiting!

🎁 Get two free songs and stories here.

🎸 Listen to my latest album “Exotic Monsters” and browse my back catalogue.

🎥 Browse my YouTube channel for adventures in sound & songwriting.

🎹 Get exclusive member perks in The Correspondent’s Club.

💬 Chat with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

See you soon xo

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Free music for you, to end 22

Free music for you, to end 22

Letterbox Music News

As we approach the end of a particularly tough year, I’ve decided to collate all my free / pay what you want/can releases in one place, so you can fill your musical boots.

Throughout my solo career I’ve made sure to keep a healthy amount of my releases available for free download in super high quality. The idea is that I can offer a pleasant listening experience in a nice environment, with the added bonus feeling of being given a gift…because, who doesn’t like a gift?

Hang on…what do you mean by “free”?

Pay what you want/can means exactly that. All the links below will send you to one or other of my Bandcamp pages, where you can type 0 (zero) into the box to accept my offer of a gift, or you can choose to pay me for the music if you feel like it and are able to.

I’m not trying not to make money from my music – all contributions are much appreciated, as are purchases of my other digital and physical releases on Bandcamp. I’ve just always believed that music is for everyone, so this is a reminder of what I’ve got available regardless of your current financial situation. I mean, what a bloody year, right?!!!

SIDEBAR: If you’re in the mood to buy vinyl, CDs, t-shirts, lyric books, hoodies and/or more from me, the absolute best place is my own shop, where you can also pre-order the upcoming Obey Robots album (my collaboration with Rat from Ned’s Atomic Dustbin.

And if you’d like to get involved in powering the making of my music and videos in return for member perks, click here to join The Correspondent’s Club.

FREE MUSIC go go go!

PENFRIEND

No Dedications – Online Gig December 2022 ** LIMITED RELEASE, NEWEST THING **

Attention Engineer Nuggets of Wisdom

The Only Way Out Is Through (single)

Everything Looks Normal In The Sunshine (single)

I’ll Start A Fire (single)

Seventeen (single)

Black Car (single)

Cancel Your Hopes (single)

Exotic Monsters (single)


OBEY ROBOTS singles

Super Connected

Not The Quiet Type

Let It Snow / Inside Out


Penfriend / SMW crossover

Seashaken demo (February 2019)


SHE MAKES WAR

Disarm Album Commentary

Little Battles Album Commentary

Live at Oxted URC
(last SMW solo performance, full gig recording from November 2019)

Instrumentals – full albums

Disarm

Little Battles

Disarm:15

Direction Of Travel

Brace For Impact

Singles

Stargazing (Cajita remix, November 2016)

I Want My Country Back (single, May 2017)

Not In My Name (single, 2010)


You’re super welcome. BUT if you’d like to give me a gift in return – click here to watch my new video for “Super Connected”, then subscribe to my channel!

Love,
Laura xxx

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay


THANK YOU for visiting my website!I’m Laura Kidd, a music producer, songwriter and filmmaker based in Bristol, UK. It’s great to meet you.

+ Get two free songs immediately when you sign up for thoughtful letters about art and music.

Get your copy of my album “Exotic Monsters” and browse my back catalogue right here.

+ Watch my weekly YouTube videos here and browse episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” here.

+ Be part of the making of new music – check out membership options for The Correspondent’s Club.

+ You can also follow me around the web, on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Have a lovely day xo

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“Super Connected” – Obey Robots

“Super Connected” – Obey Robots

Creativity Letterbox Music News Releases Singles

A song about the cognitive dissonance of feeling “super connected”: supposedly informed and part of a community via social media, yet deluded if we think typing words into a little box is enough to show empathy to people in very different situations to our own comfort. “If we’re super connected, why aren’t we all floating in the sea?”


Pre-order the Obey Robots album “One In A Thousand” now and receive this track PLUS “Not The Quiet Type” immediately PLUS a new song in your inbox every six weeks leading up to the release date of 24th February 2022.

Shop limited edition vinyl, signed CDs, cassettes, tees, hoodies, lyric books and guitar pick tins.

VIDEO CREDITS
Directed and edited by Laura Kidd.
DOP – Sarah Smither.
Right-hand woman + set photography – Charlie Romijn
Set assistants/extras – Megan Green, Leanne Bond & Kit Crew-Gee
Set photographer – Kate Feast


Shot at Boom Satsuma, Bristol. Huge thanks to Freya Billington, Phil Zikking and David Neal.

SONG CREDITS
Produced by Laura Kidd in The Launchpad, Bristol.
Mixed by Chris Sheldon at Red Cedar, London, mastered by Katie Tavini at Weird Jungle, Brighton.

All music by Laura Kidd and Rat. Guitars by Rat. All lyrics, arrangements, vocals, bass, synths, drum programming and lead guitar by Laura.


LYRICS

I drew a target on the back of my neck
Cos some are more equal than others
Disaster junkies scrape bottomless feeds
As long as their self-satisfaction’s guaranteed

We hold on to life, like everyone tries
If we’re super connected
Why aren’t we all floating in the sea?

Stuck with myself, I run for my health
Cos these pretty flowers can kill you
Send bottles downstream in an alkaloid dream
Share in this delusion where no-one hears you scream

We hold on to life, like everyone tries
If we’re super connected
Why aren’t we all floating in the sea?

We hold on to life, like everyone tries
If we’re super connected
Why aren’t we all floating in the sea?


Join my mailing list for free songs and stories, subscribe here for future videos and get involved from the start of Penfriend album #2 by joining The Correspondent’s Club.

Have a lovely day! xo

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“And Peace” – (2019)

“And Peace” – (2019)

Albums Letterbox Music News Releases

When I decided to bring my She Makes War project to a close at the end of 2019, I created this eight-track retrospective featuring fan favourites from all four She Makes War albums. These songs were lovingly re-recorded in a stripped-back, intimate fashion in my home studio The Launchpad.

As I wrote at the time of release, “I want to celebrate a decade of independent music-making with the community who have encouraged me throughout the years. I’m so proud of the music I’ve made so far and so thankful for your ears and hearts! I put the choice of songs to a public vote in the summer, and thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend some time creating these new arrangements for you. Thank you x”

Stream the album in full below, pick up your copy on CD and subscribe to my channel for more videos xo


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I face my pretty tragedies… “Exit Strategy” live from Lightship95 (2011)

I face my pretty tragedies… “Exit Strategy” live from Lightship95 (2011)

Creativity Homepage Feature Letterbox Live performances

“Exit Strategy” performed live on the Lightship95 music studio boat on the River Thames, November 2011.



This song originally appeared on my 2012 album “Little Battles”, released under the name She Makes War – vinyl and CD versions are available in my shop.

At the end of 2011 I assembled a temporary band of superstars in their own right to showcase four songs from my upcoming second album “Little Battles”. We spent a whole day filming on the Lightship95 music studio inside a pink boat moored on the River Thames, and this is one of the songs we played.

Band members:
Annie Gardiner – bass
Dana Jade / Ms Mohammed – guitar
Tom Gardiner – drums

Video shot so beautifully by Ed Christmas, edited by Laura Kidd.
Audio recorded and mixed by Jarrad Hearman, mastered by Ian Shepherd.

🎶 Browse my entire back catalogue – She Makes War and Penfriend – here.



Join my mailing list for free songs and stories, subscribe here for future videos and get involved from the start of Penfriend album #2 by joining The Correspondent’s Club.

Have a lovely day! xo

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“Disarm:15” – (2015)

“Disarm:15” – (2015)

Albums Letterbox Music News Releases

I released my debut album “Disarm” under the name She Makes War in September 2010. I’d been collecting the songs together for a couple of years, gradually focusing my mind, building my confidence and getting ever closer to making the music that was playing in my head a reality, a tangible thing others could listen to. Little did I imagine what adventures those songs would take me on, but I’ve enjoyed travelling around the world watching them take on a life of their own ever since.

As the fifth anniversary of Disarm came closer I started making plans to revisit some of the songs, tenderly reworking the tracks that feel the most resonant to my current self, and the ones I felt would benefit from a different sonic approach.

After releasing my third album “Direction Of Travel” I felt it was high time to roll up my sleeves and tackle songs from my debut that never fully realised their potential. It’s about wisdom and hindsight, I suppose.

As Kierkegaard said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Stream the EP in full below, pick up your copy on CD and subscribe to my channel for more videos xo


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Please don’t leave me yet… – “Please Don’t” Live from the Archive (2015)

Please don’t leave me yet… – “Please Don’t” Live from the Archive (2015)

Creativity Homepage Feature Letterbox Live performances

“Please Don’t” performed live on vocals, guitar and violin at Ort Cafe, Birmingham, 24th March 2015.



This song appears on my 2016 album “Direction Of Travel”, released under the name She Makes War.

Violin by Simon Goff.

Recorded by Dan Hayward, mixed and mastered by Jay Chakravorty. Video by Blacklight Productions.

🎶 Browse my entire back catalogue – She Makes War and Penfriend – here.



Join my mailing list for free songs and stories, subscribe here for future videos and get involved from the start of Penfriend album #2 by joining The Correspondent’s Club.

Have a lovely day! xo

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