This is your invitation

This is your invitation

Creativity Homepage Feature Letterbox Music News Process


This is your invitation to directly support the creation of new music.
To join a genuinely supportive online community, to receive thoughtful, lovingly made limited edition art and music bundles, to be part of shaping the future of my Penfriend project, and to be treated like the VIP music fan you already are.

As I embark upon the writing and recording of my second album as Penfriend, I’ve just opened up some new tiers in my Correspondent’s Club membership – and I’d love for you to join us.

Visit this page to browse all the options, and keep reading to find out how this incredibly supportive group of people have completely changed my life as an independent artist.


In 2009 I started tentatively sharing my music on the internet – and I was immediately blown away by the generosity of music fans around the world, people who were excited to sidestep the corporate music industry and directly support this independent artist.

Are you familiar with the term “patron of the arts”? It’s nothing new; artists have been funded by patrons for centuries, and it makes sense – we all have something unique to bring to our communities, offline and online, and it was a real turning point in my life when I realised that being an artist, making music and videos and podcasts and zines and whatever else – that could be my worthwhile contribution to the community.

I funded the recording, mixing, mastering and manufacturing of my first four albums through pre-orders and crowdfunding campaigns – and then, at the end of 2018, a company called Pledge Music folded, taking £6000 of my money with them.

I was furious. Not just because I needed that money to make my next album, but because the whole thing was so disrespectful to my supporters.

(I fulfilled all the pledges anyway, obviously.)

I grew up really resisting the concept of rockstars, those people we’re meant to put on a pedestal and treat as the super special ones. That never resonated with me. So, realising there was another path, a path I could make for myself where I could be a normal person – well, sort of normal – realising that I could flip all that on its head and find more ways to contribute to my community? That was huge for me.

Instead of saying “look at me, aren’t I great, shiny shiny ads, buy my music!”, I could say “here, I made this with love, I hope it helps in some way”. That’s what music does for me, whether I’m processing my thoughts and experiences through making it, or when I find music by other artists that tips my world upside down.

Music = magic.

So, at the start of 2019 I launched my Supersub Club, and in 2020 I renamed it The Correspondent’s Club. It changed my life. From juggling freelance video and social media jobs with comment moderation shifts at a national newspaper (hi trolls!), I was suddenly free to spend all my time making music and videos and podcasts and zines and whatever else. Over and above making music, I could finally spend my time encouraging others in their own creative dreams.

I went into overdrive, producing 50 episodes of my creativity podcast Attention Engineer, completing my debut Penfriend album “Exotic Monsters”, delivering quarterly art and music bundles to my dear subscribers and starting my YouTube channel in earnest.

I’ve always been a grafter, and I’ve never thought that producing 12 songs every 18 months was enough of a job for me.

There was a time around 2015-2017 when I flirted with the idea of teaming up in some way with “the music industry”, bringing my music and my community and my knowhow onto a bigger stage. All that resulted in was money wasted on PR companies who didn’t stand a chance of getting coverage for an indie upstart like me, radio pluggers who get paid whether or not they get your songs played, and time and energy wasted on a manager who didn’t seem to want to do any actual work.

Giving up on that industry mirage was empowering. No more waiting around. No more crossing fingers. No more hoping someone would come along and make everything bigger, better, easier.

I already told you, I’m not afraid of hard work.

In 2021, my first Penfriend album “Exotic Monsters” went to number 24 in the UK Official Albums chart – without the help of any of the things musicians are told are essential.

I didn’t even post on TikTok.

This momentous thing, this lifetime dream come true only happened because people who like real music about real things chose to buy my album on vinyl, CD, tape and download. And the album only exists the way it does because my Correspondent’s Club members funded it right from the start of its creation in early 2019.

It’s normal to feel disconnected from things these days, but just like your local independently run cafe continuing to stay open because you and your friends go back again and again, I get to keep making music and videos and podcasts and zines and whatever because people like you subscribe, or buy music and merch from my shop or, in the not too distant future, buy tickets to come and see me play in your town.

I do all of this all by myself, with full-time cheerleading and occasional camera holding from my husband Tim. There are no middle persons involved, no team, no manager, label, agent or anything else.

​It’s a lot, but I prefer it this way – I don’t have to try to become a supermarket in the centre of town and feel like a failure when I don’t “make it”.

I’m an artisan, small batch producer of music filled with love and care and hope, that I transmit to you in whatever form you prefer, be that vinyl, CD or digital file.

And now you can be part of all of it.

Visit penfriend.rocks/join to browse membership options.


If now isn’t the right time to subscribe but you like what I do, here are four other ways you can cheer me on:

+ Get two free songs and stories sent to your inbox by signing up to my mailing list at penfriend.rocks/hello

+ Click like on this video so it can reach more people, and leave a comment to let me know where in the world you’re viewing from today

+ Subscribe to my channel to watch future videos

+ Visit my shop to pick up limited edition music and merch, from t-shirts to vinyl to CDs to enamel pins.

It’s really tough out there at the moment, and I’m feeling it too – but alongside my paid offerings I will always keep making things that are free for you to enjoy.

You can pick up a bunch of free downloads from the songs page on my website, and I’m currently uploading here twice a week.

I’d love to welcome you into The Correspondent’s Club either today or in the future, but whichever way we stay in touch – I’m really thankful for being able to spend a bit of time with you.

Thanks for watching! See you soon xoxo

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Making my first music video – 2009 VLOG

Making my first music video – 2009 VLOG

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An historical vlog from February 2009. See clips of “snow day” in London and enjoy my very first music video!

“Eye Spy” is a straight-up anti-war song, and listening to the lyrics again now I feel sad that they’re always relevant. The video was shot by me in Brockwell Park, Herne Hill, and was the very start of my music video directing adventures. On-screen assistance comes from actor friend Melissa Dozois, in character as her silent movie creation Molly.

All the footage in the vlog and the music video was shot on tape – yep, video editing used to be quite the faff!

🎶 A similar but different version of “Eye Spy” was recorded at the end of 2009 as part of my debut album “Disarm”. “Disarm” and my second album “Little Battles” are available on limited edition coloured vinyl – for the first time EVER – plus CD/download from my shop.



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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I WAS DOXXED: What to do when online criticism goes too far

I WAS DOXXED: What to do when online criticism goes too far

Letterbox Mindfulness Process

I’d been planning to make a video about how to deal with cruel comments on the internet – and then I got doxxed on Twitter.

Doxxing is when someone publishes private information about you on the internet, usually with malicious intent. Someone created a fake Twitter account pretending to be me, and sharing my phone number. This is a criminal offence, and I reported it to the police.

In this video I talk about how it feels to receive cruel comments online, how I’m shifting my mindset to try and learn how better to deal with them, plus the steps you can take if someone impersonates you or shares your personal information on social media. And hey, how about we all try to be more kind?



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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I’m out. Leaving Bristol after 10 years…

I’m out. Leaving Bristol after 10 years…

Letterbox Mindfulness Process

It’s time for a new adventure: I talk about why I’m leaving Bristol after 10 years of making music here, reveal the terrible mistake I made four months ago, and muse on where I’m going next…



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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Moog Grandmother FAIL – why does this synth hate me?

Moog Grandmother FAIL – why does this synth hate me?

Creativity Letterbox Process

I spent one of the hottest afternoons known to humanity trying to get one decent sound out of my Moog Grandmother. You’ll never guess what happened next…

Join me – a complete Moog newbie – as I experiment with creating sounds on this incredible machine…with mixed results. And remember – there are no failed experiments!


Eagle-eared viewers might recognise “Long Shadows”. which appears on my album “Exotic Monsters”.

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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I’m singing on Miles Hunt’s new song “Things Can Change”

I’m singing on Miles Hunt’s new song “Things Can Change”

Creativity Letterbox Music News Process

+ Listen to ”Things Can Change” here on Bandcamp.

+ Watch the “Things Can Change” video here.

In January 2022, one of my musical heroes invited me to contribute vocals to two of his new songs, and this video includes some glamorous behind the scenes shots of self-shooting some footage for his brand new music video.

Here’s to giving ourselves permission to do our own thing!


I was never invited to work in the music industry, so have had to find ways of overcoming my inner critic and giving myself permission to create my music, videos, podcast series and blog posts as an independent producer, songwriter and filmmaker.

“Sometimes people ask me what it’s like to work in the music industry, and, genuinely, that question baffles me. No-one ever asked me to come and work in the music industry, no-one hired me, or promoted my work, or paid me for my time. I don’t have any contact with the people who work there, I don’t know how it operates, really, and I’m pretty sure they’re unaware that I also work there, if indeed I do. It’s kind of like I just showed up at someone’s office, sat down at a desk and started doing stuff. No-one’s kicked me out yet, but I don’t get holiday and the boss always forgets to call me in for my annual review.

The great thing about all this, is that I get to make whatever I want – and so really it’s about giving yourself permission to make music, or paint, or draw, or whatever the thing is that you’re driven to create. I started writing songs seriously in 2005, and my main mission in life since then has been to increase the time per week that I’m able to make things. And for that, I don’t need anybody’s permission but my own. And nor do you.”


NEXT:

Subscribe to my channel for more videos xo

Listen to me and Miles Hunt on my podcast “Attention Engineer”:
Ep18: I interview Miles
Ep40: Miles interviews me


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

Get your copy of my new album “Exotic Monsters” right here.

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

+ Join my Correspondent’s Club for exclusive member perks, and to power the making of new music, videos and podcast episodes.

+ Browse episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” here and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

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

Have a lovely day xo



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Ukulele or cavaquinho? Adventures in Portugal

Ukulele or cavaquinho? Adventures in Portugal

Creativity Letterbox Music News Process Productivity

I started playing the ukulele in 2008 after reading about George Harrison’s great love for the instrument, and have written many sad songs on it since. On a recent trip to Portugal I decided to find out about the precursor to the ukulele we know and love – the cavaquinho.

Come with me on an adventure to find a cavaquinho in Lisbon, and see what happens next!


NEXT:

+ Get my song “Seashaken” here
+ Get my album “Exotic Monsters” here

Huge thanks coolukulele.com for informing me about the ukulele’s history – read more here

And visit Cantinho da Regina if you’re ever in Sesimbra – she’s the best!

Subscribe to my channel for more videos xo


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

Get your copy of my new album “Exotic Monsters” right here.

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

+ Join my Correspondent’s Club for exclusive member perks, and to power the making of new music, videos and podcast episodes.

+ Browse episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” here and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

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

Have a lovely day xo



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“Paper Thin” – live one take performance

“Paper Thin” – live one take performance

Creativity Letterbox Music News Process Productivity

On 23rd February 2022 I played an atmospheric acoustic online gig on my Luna Dolphin ukulele and Boss RC30 loop pedal.

This song was released on my third album under the name She Makes War, and was a duet with the wonderful Tanya Donelly (Belly / Throwing Muses / Breeders).

+ Watch the music video featuring Tanya here.
+ Watch the three-song highlights from this livestream here.

Subscribe to my channel for more videos xo


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

Get your copy of my new album “Exotic Monsters” right here.

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

+ Join my Correspondent’s Club for exclusive member perks, and to power the making of new music, videos and podcast episodes.

+ Browse episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” here and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

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

Have a lovely day xo



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Reading this could have made me give up on my music career…

Reading this could have made me give up on my music career…

Creativity Letterbox Music News Process Productivity

If you battle your inner critic on a regular basis – this one’s for you. I received a standout email recently from a subscriber, and it was surprisingly freeing!

Receive free songs and stories immediately when you join my friendly list here.

[Hot tip: there’s an unsubscribe link on every one of my emails 🤣]

Subscribe to my channel for more videos xo


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

Get your copy of my new album “Exotic Monsters” right here.

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

+ Join my Correspondent’s Club for exclusive member perks, and to power the making of new music, videos and podcast episodes.

+ Browse episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” here and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

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

Have a lovely day xo



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Can I be honest with you?

Can I be honest with you?

Creativity Letterbox Music News Process Productivity

I was delighted to be invited onto one of my favourite podcasts recently – The James McMahon Music Podcast. It was nerve-wracking being on the other side of questions for once, but James made me feel comfortable enough to share some pretty personal stuff.

In this video, I talk about how moving all the time and being bullied at school knocked my confidence, but trying and trying again to make music helped me grow. I also share the reason I stopped making my podcast “Attention Engineer” and why I changed my artist name from She Makes War to Penfriend. Plus, get a sneaky glimpse of my new studio room!

Subscribe to my channel for more videos xo


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

Get your copy of my new album “Exotic Monsters” right here.

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

+ Join my Correspondent’s Club for exclusive member perks, and to power the making of new music, videos and podcast episodes.

+ Browse episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” here and subscribe via your favourite podcast platform.

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

Have a lovely day xo



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