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!

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See you soon 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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“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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“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

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“Brace For Impact” – (2018)

“Brace For Impact” – (2018)

Albums Letterbox Music News Releases

From 2009-2019 I made music under the name She Makes War, releasing 4 and a bit solo albums and playing nearly 600 shows.

“Brace For Impact” was the final full-length She Makes War album, released on 5th October 2018. Funded through Pledge Music and the generosity of music fans, it reached #15 in the Independent Album Chart and narrowly missed out on a top 100 placing in the Official Albums Chart. It was all very exciting for this indie artist!

As I said at the time, “I’ve never wanted to wait around for the old guard to validate and endorse me – my whole career has been about making the art I want to and finding a way to get it to people.” “I’m here to share my stories and show my audience I hear and see them too. It’s human nature, to want to know you’re not alone.”

Stream the album in full below, pick up your copy on CD or “dogface” splatter vinyl and subscribe to my channel for more videos xo


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“Seashaken” by the sea

“Seashaken” by the sea

Creativity Letterbox Releases

In April 2022 I spent a week in the Setubal area of Portugal, travelling up to my beloved Lisbon for several day trips. One breakfast time, after reading about the cavaquinho, an ancestor of the ukulele, I decided to go on a musical treasure hunt to find an instrument to play my song “Seashaken” on – by the sea.


“Seashaken” 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’ll Start A Fire (18/5/21)

I’ll Start A Fire (18/5/21)

Creativity Homepage Feature Letterbox Music News Releases Singles

Release date: 18th May 2021
Label: My Big Sister Recordings

GET THE SONG

+ Click to download pay what you want/can from Bandcamp.
+ Get three album tracks immediately when you pre-order my new album “Exotic Monsters” with a download
+ Join The Correspondent’s Club and get all Penfriend singles as part of membership
+ Type “penfriend I’ll start a fire” into your digital music platform of choice.



ABOUT THE SONG

“I’ll Start A Fire” is a song about causing a ruckus even while everything is going wrong, cutting bad connections and ignoring all the noise in order to be free and express ourselves honestly. Taking whatever personal power we still have and making something with it, stopping ourselves from stopping ourselves. 

As soon as I’ve decided I’ve got all the songs lined up for an album, I can rely on one or two cheeky musical ideas to come along and demand my attention. 

“I’ll Start A Fire” was the first of two songs I wrote in September 2020 that jostled for a space on the record (the second was “Black Car”), and I’m so glad they did. 

Giving yourself permission to be you can be one of the hardest things, and has really been a process for me, but it’s brought great joy and fulfilment to my life in recent years. I highly recommend giving it a try.

CREDITS

Written, produced, performed and recorded by Laura Kidd at The Launchpad, Bristol. Drums by Max Saidi. Mixed by Dan Austin. Mastered by Katie Tavini. Artwork by Alex Tillbrook, concept by Laura Kidd.

LYRICS

I stole a car in a dream
And now I’m feeling paranoid
Well I spent so long ignoring my instincts
Now I’m searching to destroy

I’ll start a fire while the world burns
I’ll start a fire, I’ll start a fire

So I sink these heavy words in a diary
And take them all to heart
Gonna build myself a fortress of vanity
And then I’ll fall apart

I’ll start a fire while the world burns
I’ll cut connections while the planet turns
I’ll start a fire cos it seems we’re elbow deep
In cheap banalities
I’ll start a fire, I’ll start a fire

I’ll start a fire while the world burns
I’ll cut connections while the planet turns
I’ll start a fire cos it seems we’re elbow deep
In cheap banalities
I’ll start a fire, I’ll start a fire

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.

+ 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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Seventeen (23/4/21)

Seventeen (23/4/21)

Creativity Homepage Feature Letterbox Music News Releases Singles

Release date: 23rd April 2021
Label: My Big Sister Recordings

GET THE SONG

+ Click to download pay what you want/can from Bandcamp.
+ Get three album tracks immediately when you pre-order my new album “Exotic Monsters” with a download
+ Join The Correspondent’s Club and get all Penfriend singles as part of membership
+ Type “penfriend seventeen” into your digital music platform of choice.



“Cavernous as its darkly-elliptical tale unfolds, “Seventeen” careens with compassion”The Autumn Roses

“An enormous pop-rock anthem with a heart-throttlingly poignant story [by] Penfriend aka singer/songwriter/producer/genius example of how to do independent musicianship right, Laura Kidd” Loud Women (single of the week)

ABOUT THE SONG

Seventeen. Is there a more complicated age? Not quite yet an adult, but impatient to be treated like one; navigating an avalanche of new experiences and urgent emotions, dismissed by the grownups as “teenage angst” or “just a phase”. An exhausting quest to negotiate a new space for ourselves, juggling the interests of parents, teachers and friends while not knowing to question their motives. 

This song is an excavation, a letting go, an act of self-forgiveness.

Traumatic events from the past can feel just as fresh, years later, the ghosts of our former selves creeping up to tap us on the shoulder with icy fingers. 

Sometimes we need to package up our memories with tidy words to dispel the haunting. 

Sometimes we just need to stop blaming ourselves. 

Sometimes writing songs is like painstakingly sculpting sounds from thin air; other times they arrive in a whoosh, fighting to be heard. “Seventeen” appeared on a summer Saturday evening, falling out of me in jagged swathes.

Facing up to our ghosts isn’t a pleasant experience, but this song helped me over a major stumbling block from my past, bringing me a fresh perspective and new freedom. 

CREDITS

Written, produced, performed and recorded by Laura Kidd at The Launchpad, Bristol. Drums by Max Saidi. Piano arranged by Laura Kidd, performed and recorded by Catherine Anne Davies. Mixed by Dan Austin. Mastered by Katie Tavini. Artwork by Alex Tillbrook, concept by Laura Kidd.

LYRICS

Happy birthday, time to say goodbye
Such a big girl, keep all this inside
Dial back those dreams
Wishing impossible things
Bursting your seams
It hurts when we grow

Tell me what you wanted
I was seventeen
Tell me I deserved it
Because I was seventeen

Toxic teens on mixtape afternoons
Photostatic memories of you
Fold paper planes
Pull them apart when it rains
Smash windowpanes
Stretching our wings alone

Tell me what you wanted
I was seventeen
Tell me I deserved it
I was seventeen
Tell me it was all my fault
I was seventeen
Tell me you remember

Tell me what you wanted
I was seventeen
Tell me I deserved it
I was seventeen
Give me a good reason
I was seventeen
Tell me you’re so sorry
I was seventeen

Thanks for visiting my website!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ I make a podcast called “Attention Engineer”, where I speak to fellow artists about creativity, grit and determination. Visit this page to find out more.

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

Have a lovely day xo

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Obey Robots – “Inside Out” (2/4/20)

Obey Robots – “Inside Out” (2/4/20)

Homepage Feature Letterbox Releases Singles


Release date: 2nd April 2021
Label: My Big Sister Recordings


GET THE SONG

+ Get the song on pay what you want / can download from Bandcamp now
+ Pre-order limited edition pink 7″ vinyl / CD singles


ABOUT THE SONG

The second song from Obey Robots, my collaboration project with Rat (Ned’s Atomic Dustbin), “Inside Out” started off as a shimmering acoustic guitar idea that Rat demoed and saved in a folder he called “Maybe send to Laura”. I’m very glad he did send it to me! After sharing the punchy riffs of “Let It Snow” with you at the end of 2020, we wanted to conjure a different mood, so I encouraged Rat to layer up the guitars while I went off to write the melody, lyrics and cello parts. 

This song is about dealing with the new groundhog-day-normal many of us have been experiencing for the past year: the highs, mediums and lows of a life made much smaller by circumstance. Ravelling and unravelling at different speeds to those around us, perhaps: trying to feel a semblance of forward motion; trying to remember what the point is. Deciding to keep hoping.

With musicians having to wait for in-person work to be possible again, it felt like the right time to get back in touch with my A-Level Music pal David Lale, who has played for the London Philharmonic Orchestra for the past 8 years. I always knew he’d go far!

David played the parts beautifully, of course, and added some extra touches in the instrumental to take it to new heights. It was a lovely opportunity to work together for the first time since we arranged Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” for a school concert back in the day. Thank you, David.

Fun fact: the original working title of this song was “Spider_Capo”. Rat, ever the fan of using different tunings but lacking the will to actually tune his guitars alternately, clearly needed to get a new toy. A novice attempt at using the spider capo (a piece of equipment strongly resembling a torture device) resulted in the basic melodic chords being written for the song that would become “Inside Out”.

CREDITS

Written by Pring / Kidd. Produced by Laura Kidd. Mixed by Dan Austin. Mastered by Katie Tavini. Guitar performed and recorded by Rat. Cello arrangement by Laura Kidd. Cello performed and recorded by David Lale.

Image by bamenny from Pixabay


LYRICS 

Lifelines are melting away
Handing off to the people we pay
Shy to communicate
Counting days til we can get more interesting

I’m replacing fear with doubt
But I’m still turning inside out
And you can show up every day
But I’m still turning inside, inside out

Nightmares and reveries
All my dreams now deliver to sea
Trust in my memories
Counting weeks til we can get more interesting

I’m replacing fear with doubt
But I’m still turning inside out
And you can show up every day
But I’m still turning inside, inside out

I’m replacing fear with doubt
But I’m still turning inside out
And you can show up every day
But I’m still turning inside, inside out

I’ve been letting the good side down
But I’m still turning inside out
And you can show up every day
But I’m still turning inside, inside out

Thanks for visiting my website!

New to my musical world?

+ Get two free songs music immediately by joining my mailing list.

+ I send a thoughtful email every week – join The Correspondent’s Club on a free or paid tier to receive it.

+ New episodes of my music podcast “Attention Engineer” are released every Wednesday – visit this page to find out more 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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