Little Battles

She Makes War

Independent release, 2012

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Laura Kidd (aka She Makes War) creates a cozy kingdom of her own in her music that seems deeply personal and almost hand made. Maybe it’s the staunchly DIY approach to her work that gives her music the wings to soar in every which direction she wants them to go. On her second release, funded fully by Pledge Music Campaign, Kidd’s kingdom of fantasy comes to life with a cast of songs that is almost like unique characters enacting to make the ideas in her head alive. Even with Kidd’s rather low-brow approach to the music, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Little Battles is an album that’s rich and diverse while earnestly keeping its DIY identity in the forefront.

Little Battles is a fanciful album that is painted with as many beautiful musical layers as the musical instruments themselves – ukulele, autoharp, melodica, piano, violin, harp, etc. But orchestrating it all is Kidd’s gloom pop song ideas that have elements from folk to old school indie to dream pop, giving them life. The absolute barest track on the album is “Delete,” a shining example of the homespun ethic of the She Makes War project, whose core is simply melodies sung by Kidd thrown in a loop, on top of which she sings the words. On the other end of the spectrum is “Exit Strategy,” where the sound is more that of a full band and where the DIY aspect isn’t as clearly manifested.

In between the stripped down “Delete” and the full instrumentation and indie rock feel of “Exit Strategy,” Kidd explores a broad variety of musical ideas expressed in equally rich music styles, all with great sophistication. Tracks like “May Our Daughters Return Home,” “Minefields,” and “Magpie Heart” have the old school indie rock appeal of Throwing Muses meets PJ Harvey. Songs like “Butterflies,” “Shields And Daggers,” and “Disarm” are chimerical and dreamy with their heavenly harps and ukulele sounds, a sort of head-on collision between fairytale and rock music. Such unexpected accidents and the casualness with which they happen are what make Little Battles such a fascinating album.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2013 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.