Laura Kidd’s early CV saw her perform with such varied artists as ex-Fame Academy winner Alex Parks, Duncan James from Blue, A-ha and Tricky. It may come as a relief to some that it is the latter which Kidd most resembles, with a second album as She Makes War that demonstrates a real growth in confidence.
There’s a real bite to this record, which is clear from ‘Minefields’, the first song on this album which makes a case for Kidd as a young PJ Harvey and ‘Exit Strategy’ only strengthens this idea. If ‘Delete’ represents the blank, emotionless side of She Makes War, the gentle caress of ‘Butterflies’ (featuring Kidd on ukelele) is the polar opposite. Elsewhere she excels equally at grungy hooks for ‘Magpie Heart’ and the chillingly spare ‘In This Boat’, whereas ‘Never Was’ seems like an affectionate tribute to The Sundays.
‘Littles Battles’ is probably a few tracks too long to make it a truly great album but Kidd performs with passion, fury and – should the occasion demand it – a sense of vulnerability. Those early days with pop stars has probably helped her add a few hooks to her edgy material too.
PJ Harvey, Lettie