Artist Spotlight : She Makes War

 Trying to describe She Makes War’s music is the best kind of difficult. Indie? Yes, hints of Britpop with catchy, hook filled choruses. Alt-rock? Yes, a touch of grunge, the upfront force of Shirley Manson or Amanda Palmer. (Palmer describes She Makes War as “fucking excellent”)  So, all lively then? No, she can deliver touching, slow numbers with the emotional resonance of The Sundays or Tanya Donelly. She takes a smorgasbord of influences and makes music that’s its own, superb thing.

Starting out as a bassist with various indie acts,  Laura Kidd released her first album as She Makes War in 2010. Disarm set out her stall strongly, with a distinct intriguing voice.

For her sophomore album, Little Battles,  Kidd moved to the crowdfunding format, continuing with the pledgemusic platform for both Direction Of Travel and her recently released fourth album Brace For Impact


Fresh off her latest UK tour, I got the opportunity to ask her a few questions for The Avocado

  • There’s a real spark to the music, an energy and a kick but still with an emotional tinge, I’ve seen you describe it as “Gloom-pop”. How much of a conscious decision is that feel? Do you ever reel in a song going in an entirely upbeat/downbeat direction?
I created the genre “gloom-pop” when I started out because I wanted a more descriptive term than “indie” and being described as a “singer songwriter” makes me nauseous. The feel of my recorded music is of course a conscious decision, as a writer I naturally gravitate towards sad stories because happy music sounds like bragging, and as a producer and arranger I want to accentuate the melancholy tone of my songs with fierceness and power through the instrumentation.
  • You tour a lot, with a lot of foreign travel. What are your favourite destinations so far and where is top of your wishlist for future shows?
I love travelling around Germany – I’ve done several solo tours there and would love to return with the new album and my live band. Canada and the US are also high on my list. I’ve been to a lot of countries playing bass for other artists so it would be good to start returning to those with my own music.
  • You’ve played with an incredibly diverse array of artists, recording with Tanya Donelly and  The Levellers and sharing stages with the Rock of Ginger Wildheart  and the pop of Sophie Ellis- Bextor.. Who would be your dream bill sharing act?
I’d love to tour with Sleeper, Belly, Radiohead, Blur, Kristin Hersh, The Breeders, Juliana Hatfield, Nadine Shah, Suede, Foo Fighters… I’m lucky that a lot of the bands who have inspired and influenced me are still active, but the hunt for new audiences is as much about the independently minded music lovers who would attend those shows as it is the fun of playing on bills with the music I love, so I’m always open to new ideas. 
  • In your touring and festivals you must discover a lot of new acts. Who would you recommend The Avocado checks out?
Thought Forms, Millie Phipps, Otti Albietz, The Menstrual Cramps, Dream Nails and Eliza Rickman.
(With thanks to Chris Dean at Wilful Publicity)