Penfriend, aka music producer, songwriter and multi-disciplinary artist Laura Kidd, has revealed her brand new single ‘Exotic Monsters’. Listen to the single here. Sparked by a throwaway phrase from Margaret Atwood's ‘The Handmaid's Tale’, ‘Exotic Monsters’ is a laundry list of asynchronous human needs and desires; a reflection of our increasingly confused, disconnected and polarised lives.

A timely reminder of the practice of cultivating gratitude through meditation, the song is an attempt to examine our internalised inconsistencies; the “facts" we pile up on our own backs throughout lives bombarded by airbrushed images and ads for the unattainable baubles we're informed are essential for true happiness.

‘Exotic Monsters’ also features several drum samples created by the European Space Agency, recorded at their European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands. “Using sounds from space on a song about feeling disconnected from life on earth just felt wildly appropriate,” Laura adds.

Shackled to our phones by big tech companies monetising and eroding our attention spans, feeling increasingly as though we live on a different planet to those we disagree with, chasing likes on social media while forgetting to look after our brains and our hearts...where will this all end? Some days it's hard to believe late MP Jo Cox's poignant words, that "we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us".

Addressing this sense of disconnection and depersonalisation, ‘Exotic Monsters’ evokes the menace of ‘Enjoy The Silence’ era Depeche Mode with a nod to the 80’s Madonna hero worship of Sky Ferreira's ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’ and the hypnotic synth pop of Sylvan Esso.

To quote Björk, "I'm no fucking Buddhist, but this is enlightenment".

The new single comes ahead of a new album, with more details to be announced soon, and follows the release of her 2020 singles, the sincere and hopeful ‘The Only Way Out Is Through’ and ‘Everything Looks Normal In The Sunshine’, an explosive sugary pop banger that recalls the heady strut of Dream Wife and Dinosaur Pile Up whilst nodding quietly to the Blue Album-era of Weezer.

Laura is also behind the Attention Engineer podcast, which aims to address how in a noisy online world, the gift of someone’s attention is priceless. In each episode she has deep conversations with artists she admires about how they balance online and offline life, tour and family, creative introspection and happiness.

It has had acclaim from the Guardian stating that Kidd, “talks with insight and warmth to (mostly) other musicians.” Guest so far have included Belly’s Tanya Donelly, comedian Bec Hill, Charlotte Hatherley, Tom Robinson and many more and shot to #10 in the Apple Podcasts top music shows in the first three days.

The podcast is returning this month on the 20th with Kat Robichaud, Voice USA 2013 contestant-turned-independent artist doing great things, followed by episodes featuring David Ford, Liz Stokes from The Beths, Rebecca Lucy Taylor from Self Esteem / Slow Club and Eliza Shaddad in the near future.


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