Bristol, UK-based producer and songwriter Laura Kidd—a.k.a. Penfriend—is either a shapeshifter or one of the most multitalented people we know. Or both. In her early years as a bassist and vocalist for hire, she appeared on Top of the Pops with such artists as Tricky, A-ha, and Viv Albertine of The Slits. She even sang with David Bowie on the Ricky Gervais series Extras.
After her band She Makes War disbanded in 2019, she went to her home studio to write, record and produce her just-released album Exotic Monsters, an ambitious opus making waves even before its release.
Her March 2021 single, “Black Car” came out almost exactly one year after the UK went into lockdown. It’s a beautiful, emotive reflection of isolation and loss. “That this single release marks the anniversary of the first UK lockdown is an accident, but sometimes things just fall into place like that when we focus on what’s important to us,” she says. “Throughout this loneliest of years, I’ve tried to keep connected to humanity through making and releasing new music, podcast episodes and my weekly emails, doing what I can to create pinpoints of light in dark times. With all the gratitude in the world, I have to remind myself it’s still ok to feel wounded by what’s been going on and to feel scared about what’s to come. We will all be changed by this experience, and at the root of everything is the love we have for others.”
Here’s a day in the life of Penfriend.
JOHN MELLENCAMP, PAINTER
Date May 21, 2021
Time I woke up 8:30 a.m.
Every day starts with Snuggling my dogs.
Breakfast consists of Cereal and coffee.
To get going I always Think about running…and on better days I actually go!
I don’t feel dressed without Leopard print.
Before I start working I must Make a new list on my whiteboard.
Currently working on Releasing my new album Exotic Monsters.
But I’d really love to be Nope, I love what I’m doing 🙂
Book I’m reading Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart.
I don’t know how anyone ever Gets to the end of their to do list.
If I had to play one album on repeat, it would be Kid A by Radiohead.
The perfect midday consists of Eggs on toast.
To help get through the day I need Coffeeeeeee.
Not a day goes by without speaking to My gorgeous husband.
My daydreams consist of Sitting in my squashy chair reading and writing.
In a perfect day, in a perfect world I would make weird noises with synths and drum machines from dawn till dusk.
I’ll always fight for Creative independence.
Currently in love with Superstore on Netflix.
Hoping to make time to watch The US version of The Office — it’s beyond time!
By my bedside I always have My diary and pen.
To help get through the night I Read before sleep.
When I think about tomorrow, it’s always Full of possibilities.