Two listening parties this Tuesday!

Two listening parties this Tuesday!

Letterbox Music News

Why not, eh?

My second and third She Makes War albums have birthdays this week, so I’m celebrating with two listening parties on Bandcamp on Tuesday 9th April:

7.30pm – “Little Battles”
shemakeswar.bandcamp.com/live/little-battles-listening-party

8.30pm – “Direction Of Travel”
shemakeswar.bandcamp.com/live/direction-of-travel-listening-party

See you there?


NEXT

I’m proud and very thankful to be a fully fan-funded artist, so if you’d like to stay involved and continue to support the making of new music, writing and videos:

🎁 Get a FREE 12-track album + 31-page PDF zine of stories, photographs and artwork here.

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

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

🎥 Watch my videos for adventures in sound & songwriting.

💬 Chat with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

See you soon xo

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FREE livestream – 3rd April

FREE livestream – 3rd April

Letterbox Music News


The theme of April’s gig is “Direction Of Battles” – a celebration of the 12th and 8th birthdays of my second and third albums “Little Battles” and “Direction Of Travel”.

And oh look, the livestream is embedded in this very post! Handy.
Yes – this link also works for watching later (unless something terrible happens and I delete the livestream off YouTube!) 🙂

Music starts at 8pm on Wednesday 3rd April but you’re very welcome to pop along early to chat in the comments. If you have any questions for me please type QUESTION at the start of your comment so I can scan through and find them.

See you there (here)?

Love,
Laura xxx


NEXT

I’m proud and very thankful to be a fully fan-funded artist, so if you’d like to stay involved and continue to support the making of new music, writing and videos:

🎁 Get a FREE 12-track album + 31-page PDF zine of stories, photographs and artwork here.

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

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

🎥 Watch my videos for adventures in sound & songwriting.

💬 Chat with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

See you soon xo

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It’s happening… (Patreon launch news!)

It’s happening… (Patreon launch news!)

Letterbox Music News Process

You are welcome here.

I’m Penfriend aka music producer and solo artist Laura Kidd. Half of Obey Robots, ex- She Makes War.

I make heartfelt indie rock, synth pop and sad songs to make you feel better, sharing stories, photos and artwork as part of my ongoing creative practice.

Through my videos, essays and weekly forum posts I seek to support and encourage others along their own creative journeys. We’re all in this together!

Thank you for visiting this page – you clearly have great taste x


In 2019, my fingers burned by crowdfunding platform Pledge Music disappearing with £6000 i.e. ALL THE PROFITS from my 2018 album “Brace For Impact”, I decided to try my own thing.

I set up a subscription club I called Supersub Club. 100 analogue memberships sold out within a week, and I created CDs packed with demos, rarities, cover songs and voicemail recordings PLUS zines of stories, photos and artwork throughout the year to send to generous music fans around the world.

In 2020 I launched my new solo project Penfriend on the same day as opening up The Correspondent’s Club: a new and improved membership offering with analogue and digital, monthly and annual options plus a community space. It worked, and it was magical.


Over the past four years my members have received 18 analogue / digital bundles of music, stories, photos and artwork, made up of:

• 101 songs, demos, exclusive live tracks and podcast stories
• 18 zines packed with stories, photos and artwork
• plus postcards, bookmarks and stickers

So far, Correspondents have supported the making of:
• 2 studio albums
• 233 YouTube videos, including 9 official music videos
• 50 podcast episodes

Would you like to join us?


Earlier this year I knew it was time for a change. We’d outgrown the cobbled together WordPress plugins I’d assembled in spring 2020. I researched all the other options, comparing fees and features with a far longer view than anything I’d ever set up before.

Would this work for us for the next 5 years? If not, it was a no.

I chose not to use Patreon in 2020 because it didn’t have the capacity for people to pay in their local currency, and I didn’t want my majority UK-based fans to have to pay conversion fees. When Patreon came out on top of all my research, I was surprised and delighted to find out they’ve spent the past four years making their excellent platform even better.

While it was frankly nauseating sitting in my kitchen and clicking “cancel” on 235 recurring payments on Thursday morning, I knew I had to operate from a mindset of abundance rather than poverty. I don’t want people to subscribe to The Correspondent’s Club because they forgot to cancel a recurring payment. I want them to actively want the things they get from it.

On Thursday lunchtime I launched the new home of The Correspondent’s Club to existing members.

On Friday lunchtime I launched to the rest of my mailing list.
Fifteen minutes ago I launched to YouTube and social media.

At the time of typing, I have welcomed 152 paid members on Patreon.

For the past five years I’ve been building The Correspondent’s Club into a community that reaches far beyond the songs I make and the videos I share.

People are amazing.
Music fans want to support the artists who provide the soundtrack to their lives.

If you’re interested in being a part of what I make and do on a daily basis, you’re always welcome in The Correspondent’s Club.


You get immediate access to:

• downloads of my entire back catalogue (7 albums + 1 EP)

PLUS

• the entire Correspondent’s Club digital archive (101 tracks + 18 zines)

Then, whichever membership tier you choose, you will receive:

• weekly Airmail messages
• monthly Voicemail / Facemail recordings
• complimentary downloads of all official Penfriend album releases
• VIP invitations to bi-monthly private online events
• previews of my regular videos and personal essays before they go public

PLUS extra member perks detailed in each tier.


My last two albums went into the Official UK Albums Chart at #14 (#1 Independent) and #24 (#5 Independent) – completely powered by music fans. No labels / agents / managers / pluggers / middlepersons. No games.

I’m independent on purpose – so that I never have to compromise my artistic vision. I’ve never pandered to fashion, and I never will. I’ve never waited for permission from anyone to do this.

I’m not interested in where my music might take me, I’m interested in where I am right now.

Right here, talking to you. Hi!


The Correspondent’s Club has not only changed my life as an artist, but has become a joyful space for my members to connect with each other over their shared passions.

After 5 years of DIY-ing this I’m moving to Patreon in Spring 2024 because I love this platform and wanted to find a friendly home for me and my beloved Correspondents for the next 5 years.

Will you join us?

Thank you for reading.

Love,
Laura xxx

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New FREE download for 9 days only…

New FREE download for 9 days only…

Letterbox Music News

Photo taken by Laura Ward at The Apollo Project in Herne Hill, June 2009.


In the spring of 2008 I was feeling Very Cheesed Off.

“Making an album one day” had been a dream since I was 15 years old, and it didn’t seem like it was ever going to happen…



Keep reading for the full story – but first: my new live album is waiting for you!

** It’s FREE / pay what you can for the next 9 days only **

This warm and welcoming live experience includes 7 songs performed on ukulele, vocals and loop pedal PLUS very real talk about:

• my Sliding Doors moment: the songwriting crossroads I find myself at following the success of the Obey Robots album “One In A Thousand”

• 5 years on: the exciting next phase of The Correspondent’s Club

• my favourite jam – will its name ever be revealed?

and

• the real reason I’m still not touring…


In the spring of 2008 I was feeling Very Cheesed Off.

“Making an album one day” had been a dream since I was 15 years old, and it didn’t seem like it was ever going to happen.

Newly resident in East Dulwich/Peckham Rye, I was wandering the back streets, trying to work out what was what and what was where, when I happened across a tiny music shop. A little red instrument waved at me from the window, and I was immediately sold (read on for evidence!).

Moments later I was back in my studio flat, sitting on the bed (no sofa, no table, no room) and putting my fingers on a baffling new fretboard.

I tried a simple guitar chord shape – the one for E major / A minor / etc – and it sounded nice. I kept two fingers where they were and took one off. Also good. I put the third finger back in a new spot and wow – “Scared To Capsize” was born.

I had just bought a loop pedal, after seeing KT Tunstall’s career-changing performance on Jools Holland, and soon discovered that uke + vocals + loops worked together beautifully.

“Scared To Capsize” became a key moment of nearly 700 live sets I played over the next 11 years, and my collection of thoughtful songs written on the ukulele grew along the way.

I recorded my debut album “Disarm” the year after the ukulele brought it’s colourful cheer to my life.

In my latest livestream I decided to celebrate that journey, hence “Four Strings Good”.

Get your copy here: https://penfriendrocks.bandcamp.com/album/four-strings-good-online-gig-february-2024

Have a fabulous weekend, and thank you for supporting independent music!

Love
Laura xxx

NEXT

I’m proud and very thankful to be a fully fan-funded artist, so if you’d like to stay involved and continue to support the making of new music, writing and videos:

🎁 Get a FREE 12-track album + 31-page PDF zine of stories, photographs and artwork here.

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

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

🎥 Watch my videos for adventures in sound & songwriting.

💬 Chat with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

See you soon xo

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New Year, new live album gift for YOU

New Year, new live album gift for YOU

Creativity Letterbox Music News


I have a New Year’s gift for you: a hopeful 6-song live experience with bonus track and accompanying friendly gig chat.

—> Get your copy of “Mending The Year” here – pay what you want from £0 to whatever you like!

** Limited release! This album is only available for the next 10 days – go go go! **


Last Friday I collected my most hopeful songs together to play for you, and I haven’t felt so relaxed on stage in some time.

It was fun to rework some older songs, two tracks that have rarely if ever been performed live: “Disarm” (from my 2012 album “Little Battles”) and “5000 Miles” (from 2016’s “Direction Of Travel”).

We talked about the inspiration behind my “mend the year” lyric in “Paper Thin”, my “shiny things” for 2024 and more besides. What a lovely night!

Thanks for being there live, if you were, and either way you’re very welcome to take this live album as a gift, or contribute if you’d like: https://penfriendrocks.bandcamp.com/album/mending-the-year-online-gig-december-2023

Happy New Year to all of us! Whatever you’re going through, I’m sending you my love and hopeful wishes for a great year ahead.

Warm wishes and thanks for being here!
Laura xxx

PS ✅ “5000 Miles” appears on my third She Makes War album “Direction Of Travel” and this version of the song was performed live on 29th December 2023.


NEXT

I’m proud and very thankful to be a fully fan-funded artist, so if you’d like to stay involved and continue to support the making of new music, writing and videos:

🎁 Get a FREE 12-track album + 31-page PDF zine of stories, photographs and artwork here.

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

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

🎥 Watch my videos for adventures in sound & songwriting.

💬 Chat with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

See you soon xo

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Correspondent’s Club 013 – 19/12/23

Correspondent’s Club 013 – 19/12/23

Letterbox Music News Perks TCC

The life of a new song, something to dance to, plus a 20-page zine Q&A with photos and studio recording notes.

The only way to get access to future Correspondent’s Club releases is to become a member – browse member perks here.

Track listing:

1. Life Of The Party (rehearsal)
2. Pearlescent Brilliant Sporty Blue (posh demo)
3. Life Of The Party (posh demo)
4. Life Of The Party (phone performance)

Weathering The Storm (FREE online gig next week)

Weathering The Storm (FREE online gig next week)

Letterbox Music News

What: Join me for a weather-themed mix of Penfriend/She Makes War songs, with at least one shiny new one (probably two)!

When?: Wednesday 29th November 2023, 8pm GMT

Where: Here (tap to set a reminder)

Remember to subscribe if you’d like to join the live chat on the night xo

Hope to see you there!

Love,
Laura xxx


* PS for the kind people who always ask how they can pay to attend, there are several ways of supporting me: joining The Correspondent’s Club, buying some music/merch from my shop and/or sending me a contribution via Paypal.


NEXT

I’m proud and very thankful to be a fully fan-funded artist, so if you’d like to stay involved and continue to support the making of new music, writing and videos:

🎁 Get a FREE 12-track album + 31-page PDF zine of stories, photographs and artwork here.

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

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

🎥 Watch my videos for adventures in sound & songwriting.

💬 Chat with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

See you soon xo

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I said I would…

I said I would…

Letterbox Music News

During last month’s online gig I said I was going to play live more regularly – so I’m playing a completely different set of songs (including a BRAND new one – written yesterday!) next Wednesday 25th October at 8pm.

I’m calling it “Comfort Songs for Dark Days”. As the rain lashes down from a wintry sky here in Nottingham and the world news gets more sad and more scary, it feels like a good idea to keep coming together.

So, I hope you’ll join me for an hour of sad songs to make you feel better, beaming live from the cosy nook of my brand new attic studio The Launchpad*.

Entry is FREE*, the gig starts at 8pm UK time and you can set a reminder for yourself here.

After last month’s silly troll I’ve restricted commenting to subscribers only, so here’s a link to subscribe to my channel while you’re there – it all helps spread the word to other music lovers too. Thank you!

Love,
Laura xoxo


* PS for the kind people who always ask how they can pay to attend, there are several ways of supporting me: joining The Correspondent’s Club, buying some music/merch from my shop and/or sending me a contribution via Paypal.


NEXT

I’m proud and very thankful to be a fully fan-funded artist, so if you’d like to stay involved and continue to support the making of new music, writing and videos:

🎁 Get a FREE 12-track album + 31-page PDF zine of stories, photographs and artwork here.

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

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

🎥 Watch my videos for adventures in sound & songwriting.

💬 Chat with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

See you soon xo

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Remember the summer when everyone stayed at home?

Remember the summer when everyone stayed at home?

Creativity Letterbox Music News

Remember the time I wrote a song about my own imagined death? Here’s “Black Car” from last week’s livestream.

Today I released the whole gig as a live album, available as a limited digital release for the next 10 days only on Bandcamp.

I also released a second live album called “Encore”, recorded the next day “just in case”… Brains are strange – the first gig was good!

Both albums are available on a pay what you want/can basis so, while your contributions are greatly appreciated, feel free to pick up a present from me xo


Keep your loved ones close
Even on calm waters waves will rise
As my heart explodes
Loving echoes dancing in my eyes
Keep your loved ones close
Keep your loved ones close
Keep your loved ones close

NEXT

I’m proud and very thankful to be a fully fan-funded artist, so if you’d like to stay involved and continue to support the making of new music, writing and videos:

🎁 Get a FREE 12-track album + 31-page PDF zine of stories, photographs and artwork here.

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

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

🎥 Watch my videos for adventures in sound & songwriting.

💬 Chat with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

See you soon xo

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