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

Share this:
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

Share this:
“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

Share this:
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

Share this:
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

Share this:
I’d like to delete myself… – “Delete” Live from the Archive (2015)

I’d like to delete myself… – “Delete” Live from the Archive (2015)

Creativity Homepage Feature Letterbox Live performances

“Delete” performed live on vocals, loop pedal and megaphone at Ort Cafe, Birmingham, 24th March 2015.



This song appears on my 2012 album “Little Battles”, released under the name She Makes War.

Watch the self-shot music video here.

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

Share this:
Is Twitter DEAD?! 108,142 tweets…now what?

Is Twitter DEAD?! 108,142 tweets…now what?

Creativity Letterbox Music News

I joined Twitter on 23rd November 2007 and am looking at losing touch with nearly 15,000 followers if the platform crumbles under the leadership of Elon Musk, or if I decide to leave first. Thanks for that!

In this video I talk about what fellow artists and supporters of the arts can do for each other now, and share thoughts on how I feel Twitter has changed the way we view other people.


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

Share this:
“Not The Quiet Type” – Obey Robots

“Not The Quiet Type” – Obey Robots

Creativity Letterbox Music News Releases Singles

“Featuring the iconic guitar sound of Rat (Ned’s Atomic Dustbin) and the compassionate melodic arrangements of Laura Kidd (Penfriend / She Makes War), “Not The Quiet Type” implores the listener to stop chasing perfection and step fully into themselves and their perceived imperfections.”

No experience is truly wasted. Try, fail and try again. Be yourself, fall in love, get it all terribly wrong and get back up.

You’ve got this.


Pre-order the Obey Robots album “One In A Thousand” now and receive this track 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.

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. All lyrics, arrangements, vocals, bass, and synths by Laura. All guitars by Rat. Drums by Max Saidi.


LYRICS

Goodbye, a little sigh
Sticking fingers in my eyes
Out of time, out of sight
So I’ll try another night

I won’t regret all the hours that I spent
I’m not here to make amends
I am not the quiet type

Destruction makes us stronger
We will always get it wrong
So fall to pieces, fall apart
We’ll stick it back together

Am I being interesting?
Turning cheek and fighting spin?
Finding comfort in my skin?
Imperfection’s always in

I won’t regret all the hours that I spent
I’m not here to make amends
No, I’m not the quiet type!

Destruction makes us stronger
We will always get it wrong
So fall to pieces, fall apart
We’ll stick it back together

Destruction makes us stronger
We will always get it wrong
So fall to pieces, fall apart
Then get back up

Destruction makes me stronger
I will always do my best
So fall to pieces, fall in love
We’ll stick it back together

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

Share this:
Lead me with your lovely lies – “Butterflies” live from Lightship95 (2011)

Lead me with your lovely lies – “Butterflies” live from Lightship95 (2011)

Creativity Homepage Feature Letterbox Live performances

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



This song appears on my 2012 album “Little Battles”, released under the name She Makes War.

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:
Milly McGregor – violin
Dr Kat Arney – harp

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

Share this: