Why I stopped making videos…

Why I stopped making videos…

Letterbox Mindfulness Process

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

❤️ Get immediate access to my entire digital archive (close to 200 tracks!) plus additional ongoing Member Perks by joining The Correspondent’s Club on Patreon!

🎸 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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What’s the worst that could happen?!

What’s the worst that could happen?!

Letterbox Mindfulness Process

➡️ A brief explanation of why I haven’t been posting videos via some thoughts on sustainable creative practices and getting over ourselves to be able to do the things we enjoy, beaming to you from the northernmost German island, Sylt!

Thumbnail fire image by ArthurHidden on Freepik

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

❤️ Get immediate access to my entire digital archive (close to 200 tracks!) plus additional ongoing Member Perks by joining The Correspondent’s Club on Patreon!

🎸 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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Too late? How to find an audience in your 50s (and 40s, and 30s…)

Too late? How to find an audience in your 50s (and 40s, and 30s…)

Creativity Letterbox Process


➡️ At my December livestream, I was asked the following question by  @hitchhiker7508  : “is 55 too old to hope to build a fanbase for original music?” – here’s my answer

❤️ This video is sponsored by The Correspondent’s Club – browse membership perks here and join the journey!

Subscribe to this channel for more adventures in sound and songwriting


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

❤️ Get immediate access to my entire digital archive (close to 200 tracks!) plus additional ongoing Member Perks by joining The Correspondent’s Club on Patreon!

🎸 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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Feel the weight of the world, feel the weight of the universe

Feel the weight of the world, feel the weight of the universe

Creativity Letterbox Process


This is the last video in this little series, and this is your last chance to grab two FREE / pay what you can live albums before they disappear in a puff of glitter tomorrow night.

I wrote this song about feeling on the outside of things, confused by how light years apart people can think and act when given the same information.

“Far away, looking back from this constellation
Castaway, adrift on my own space station”

The world is at turns huge and strange, violent and terrifying, wonderful and unimaginably awe inspiring. The fact that I can beam my music from my space station to yours blows me away – thank you for being here.

This recording of “Dispensable Body” is part of my new live album “In The Many Moons”

And the song also appears on my other new live album “Encore”!

Pay what you want, from £0 to infinity, for either or both. Thank you.

BIG LOVE TO YOU
Laura xxx


✅ “Dispensable Body” appears on my debut Penfriend album “Exotic Monsters”

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

❤️ Get immediate access to my entire digital archive (close to 200 tracks!) plus additional ongoing Member Perks by joining The Correspondent’s Club on Patreon!

🎸 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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Clouds collide…

Clouds collide…

Creativity Letterbox Process

When I listen closely to the lyrics I wrote more than a decade ago, my heart aches for that younger woman.

“Others love, I stay rooted to the ground
Losing, never found
Olympian, show me how to feel again
Save me, my Apollo”

In “Olympian” (from my debut album “Disarm”) I was experimenting with using myths and legends to tell a story, but what came out was my own melancholy and frustration at my situation. The idea that someone could come along and save me was very appealing in those darker days, but of course, in the end, that person was me.

PAY WHAT YOU WANT / CAN for this recording of “Olympian” as part of my new live album “In The Many Moons”.

It also appears on my other new live album “Encore”!

Type zero to infinity in the box at checkout, you’re very welcome to have this music as a gift from me to you.

Thank you!

Love,

Laura xxx


✅ “Olympian” appears on my debut She Makes War album “Disarm”.

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

❤️ Get immediate access to my entire digital archive (close to 200 tracks!) plus additional ongoing Member Perks by joining The Correspondent’s Club on Patreon!

🎸 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’d like to delete myself…

I’d like to delete myself…

Creativity Letterbox Process

Delete: the song that started out as a joke about using a loop pedal, and turned into a high point of almost every live set I performed from mid 2011- my last in-person show in late 2019.

I always enjoyed surprising people in the audience by appearing next to them wielding a megaphone, singing “don’t stop the clocks, don’t mention the time, eyes front and we’ll all be fine”. Hands up if you ever witnessed this in person!

I’d like to delete myself
Don’t like to repeat myself, no

Pay what you want for the live album here and pick up your copy of “Encore” too (I recorded the whole thing again the next day just in case…)



✅ “Delete” appears on my second She Makes War album “Little Battles” *and* my 2019 reworkings collection “And Peace” and this version of the song was recorded live during my first online gig of 2023!

“Delete” was performed live on vocals, Boss RC30 loop pedal and Trash Talk telephone mic, recorded through the Boss Gigcaster 8.


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

❤️ Get immediate access to my entire digital archive (close to 200 tracks!) plus additional ongoing Member Perks by joining The Correspondent’s Club on Patreon!

🎸 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 really f*cked this up…

I really f*cked this up…

Creativity Letterbox Process

…or did I?!!

Sometimes things go “wrong” at a gig…but it usually just makes things more interesting. Here’s an “extended” version of “Exotic Monsters” from my recent livestream which hopefully proves the point (and shows one way to handle it)!


Pay what you want for the live album here and pick up your copy of “Encore” too (I recorded the whole thing again the next day just in case…)

✅ “Exotic Monsters” appears on my debut Penfriend album “Exotic Monsters” and this version of the song was recorded live during my first online gig of 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 your FREE 12-track album + 31-page PDF zine of stories, photographs and artwork here.

❤️ Get immediate access to my entire digital archive (close to 200 tracks!) plus additional ongoing Member Perks by joining The Correspondent’s Club on Patreon!

🎸 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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Live from Nottingham: online gig next Wednesday!

Live from Nottingham: online gig next Wednesday!

Letterbox Music News Process

It’s been a while…I moved city, painted some furniture bright pink and have been auditioning local Post Offices for the lofty honour of handling packages of music and merch for generous music supporters.

I’m delighted that the PO closest to me has easy parking, lots of space inside for piling up bags and boxes and, most importantly, a super friendly and positive man running the place.

His joyful hello perked me right up yesterday when I dropped off several bags of CDs and zine bundles for my Correspondent’s Club members – a friendly welcome and a smile makes such a difference, doesn’t it!


Speaking of which, this is your friendly invitation to beam into my new home next Wednesday 27th September for my first online gig of 2023. What with releasing an album, moving house and LIFE OH LIFE the months have slipped by, so I’m delighted to be getting back to these regular performances.

I’ll be playing songs from my Penfriend album “Exotic Monsters” as well as from my She Makes War back catalogue.

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

Subscribe to my channel while you’re there – it all helps spread the word to other music lovers.


* 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.

Hope to see you next Wednesday!

Laura xoxo

Getting there, getting 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 your FREE 12-track album + 31-page PDF zine of stories, photographs and artwork here.

❤️ Get immediate access to my entire digital archive (close to 200 tracks!) plus additional ongoing Member Perks by joining The Correspondent’s Club on Patreon!

🎸 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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FLASH SALE for Friday 13th…anniversary of “Disarm”!

FLASH SALE for Friday 13th…anniversary of “Disarm”!

Letterbox Music News Process

My debut album “Disarm” is 13 today, so I’m running a flash sale to celebrate!

Get 25% off:

+ “Disarm” on CD
+ “Disarm” on vinyl
+ “Disarm” demos and rarities collection on CD (25 tracks WTF?!!!!)
+ “Disarm:15” 5-track CD (reworked versions of songs from “Disarm”
+ “Disarm” bundle – 1 x vinyl, 2 x CD
+ “Disarm” / “Little Battles” double vinyl deal

GO GO GO!


I always find it interesting looking back at blog posts from around album releases, and it’s especially pleasing to compare Past Laura’s opinions with Current Laura. I think the two of us would still get on very well!

Shared on 2nd September 2010:

As artists, musicians and videomakers we have all the tools at our disposal now and absolutely no excuses not to use them. Gone are the days when bands could get away with saying “That’s not my job, I just make music” and expect to be handed opportunities.

I prefer it this way, having been stuck in a stingy record deal in the past with all rights removed, no say over the spending of money and told off by the label boss for asking too many questions (thankfully I hadn’t written the entire album of songs that got lost in the ensuing band / label split…), but hey, since I was a little girl I always wanted to be in charge.

The late nights and early mornings in front of the computer and the money spent on printing, videos, ribbon, glitter and suchlike is all time and cash well spent, in my opinion, in the quest to create my funny little world of art and music, and feels even more worth it when the reaction from the world is this warm.”

Social media shifted my focus from longer form written pieces for a good while, but with the launch of Penfriend in 2020 I signalled my forever return – so do have a browse of the Letterbox some time 🙂

Here’s another smoke signal from the “Disarm” times:


A humble aside: I remember sitting down in front of the camera to film the quiet performance of “Eye Spy” in this video and feeling SO awkward and silly and embarrassed, even though I was in a recording studio I was paying to record my album in. Isn’t that funny?! Next time I feel silly sitting down in front of a camera to film something in my own home (probably next week), I’ll try and remember that – and, as always, will just try and get on with it.

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

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

❤️ Get immediate access to my entire digital archive (close to 200 tracks!) plus additional ongoing Member Perks by joining The Correspondent’s Club on Patreon!

🎸 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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