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She Makes War.

She Makes War is the gloom-pop solo project of Laura Kidd – multi-instrumentalist, visual artist and digital polymath. Having graced stages across the world playing bass and singing for Tricky, A-Ha, The Penelopes, I Blame Coco, The Young Punx and Alex Parks, Kidd released debut album Disarm in September 2010 accompanied by five quirky handmade videos and aims to build on its DIY success with Little Battles, a new collection of carefully crafted, powerful alt-pop songs released on April 9th 2012.

Kidd has appeared on panels discussing digital DIY, the live music industry, punk and politics and artist development for organisations including Unconvention, Norwich Sound & Vision and Music 4.5 and has given lectures and seminars on portfolio working and social media for musicians at music colleges around the UK. Her new digital DIY collective My Big Sister will launch in the summer with a series of podcasts.

She Makes War’s second album Little Battles was co-produced by She Makes War and Myles Clarke (Sparkadia, Kid Harpoon, Belakiss) in the summer of 2011. Recorded just around the corner from the Hackney riots, London’s crackling tension is echoed within the 15 songs but if love is a battlefield this album is a peaceful protest – honest and vulnerable yet steely and sure of itself, all melancholy romance and wide-eyed hope for the future.

Driven by Kidd’s bewitching, pastoral vocals and layered guitars and supported by a plethora of additional instruments from ukulele to autoharp, melodica, piano, violin, harp, saxophone and three part recorder ensemble, the songs are punctuated by a patchwork of field recordings from her global travels as hired gun. The album opens to the sound of a Japanese mountaintop tannoy and closes on a summer rain shower in South London, bells chime in Mexico and Buenos Aires, breakdancers throw themselves around a New York subway carriage and news helicopters circle Mare Street – and within the world of She Makes War this all makes perfect sense. It’s about collisions – analogue with digital, war with peace and technology with nature.

Take lead single In This Boat, released digitally and as a homemade Valentine’s card on February 14th 2012 with early radio support from BBC 6 Music. Brooding, lovesick and philosophical, the body prepares for voyage with special guests Chris T-T, Milly McGregor (Dott Reed) and Bass (Djevara) providing tempestuous piano, violin and vocal accompaniment respectively, the rain beating down on Kidd’s swirling high sea of guitar lines and swooning vocals.

Elsewhere the Carpenters-esque “Butterflies” warns of the dangers of pretty boys in bands, a rich blend of harp, ukulele and violin sweetening the blow, “Exit Strategy” explores emotional paranoia and a capella extravaganza “Delete” describes the anguish of indecision. “May Our Daughters Return Home” features guest vocalists Tasmin Archer, Annie Gardiner (Hysterical Injury), Dana Jade and Anna Madeleine as a solemn choir, singing the haunting tale of Mexico’s lost daughters, and “Magpie Heart” and “Never Was” hint at narrowly averted disaster.

She Makes War has been making waves with her atmospheric solo gigs on Telecaster, ukulele, megaphone and loop pedal, performing in theatres, village halls and living rooms alike supporting Midge Ure, Viv Albertine and Tom Williams and the Boat. The new album itself sets to work the supportive, collaborative community building up around She Makes War via her ardent international fanbase, who fully funded this album via a wildly successful Pledge Music campaign. (Bio from official website)

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