56 episodes

Deep conversations with musicians and other artists, hosted by me, Laura Kidd. I'm a music producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist releasing music as Penfriend, on a mission to encourage self-expression in every listener. Come backstage with me to learn from some of the best - you don't have to make something of your own after listening...but you can if you like!
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In a noisy online world, our attention is priceless - so my show aims to treat you like the VIP you are for tuning in. Thank you!
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Now visit http://penfriend.rocks for two free songs and a warm welcome to my friendly online community, and find episode transcripts here: https://penfriend.rocks/transcripts
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Thanks for listening! xo

Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

Attention Engineer: Artists on creativity, grit & determination Penfriend

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 13 Ratings

Deep conversations with musicians and other artists, hosted by me, Laura Kidd. I'm a music producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist releasing music as Penfriend, on a mission to encourage self-expression in every listener. Come backstage with me to learn from some of the best - you don't have to make something of your own after listening...but you can if you like!
.
In a noisy online world, our attention is priceless - so my show aims to treat you like the VIP you are for tuning in. Thank you!
.
Now visit http://penfriend.rocks for two free songs and a warm welcome to my friendly online community, and find episode transcripts here: https://penfriend.rocks/transcripts
.
Thanks for listening! xo

Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Ep50: Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) on giving yourself permission to be creative

    Ep50: Matthew Caws (Nada Surf) on giving yourself permission to be creative

    Visit the deluxe show notes page for this episode at http://penfriend.rocks/matthew
    Thanks for listening! Attention Engineer is a show where I seek to make the best use of my own valuable time and attention by having deep conversations with fellow artists about creativity, grit and determination. My aim is to consistently remind you - and remind myself - that creativity really is for everyone.
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    About my guest: Matthew Caws has been playing guitar, singing and writing songs in Nada Surf since 1994. He is one half of Minor Alps with Juliana Hatfield. He’s from New York City but currently lives in Cambridge, England. Find out more at nadasurf.com.
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    In this episode, we discuss how anxiety gets in the way of songwriting, the anomaly of artists being financially successful, what it’s like listening to the music you made a long time ago, how to keep writing interesting material when you’re happily married and ageing with your audience – when your existence is a mirror to their years gone by.
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    About your host: I'm Laura Kidd, a music producer and solo artist releasing music as Penfriend. Come and grab two free songs plus letters about art and music from http://penfriend.rocks/hello.
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    My new album “Exotic Monsters” is out now: http://penfriend.rocks/exoticmonsters
    Sponsor the podcast here: https://penfriend.rocks/sponsorship
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    The Penfriend songs featured in this episode are:
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    Intro: Cancel Your Hopes
    Background: Everything Looks Normal In The Sunshine
    Outro: Seashaken
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    Have a fab day!

    Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Ep49: Grace Petrie on connection and communion

    Ep49: Grace Petrie on connection and communion

    Visit the deluxe show notes page for this episode at http://penfriend.rocks/grace
    Thanks for listening! Attention Engineer is a show where I seek to make the best use of my own valuable time and attention by having deep conversations with fellow artists about creativity, grit and determination. My aim is to consistently remind you - and remind myself - that creativity really is for everyone.
    .
    About my guest: a folk singer, songwriter and activist from Leicester, UK, Grace Petrie has been writing, recording and touring relentlessly for more than ten years. Her unique takes on life, love and politics, and the warmth and wit with which they are delivered, have won over audiences everywhere, across the alternative, folk, political and comedy scenes. Her new album "Connectivity" is out on 4th October 2021. Get your copy at www.gracepetrie.com
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    In this episode, we discuss the unique communion and connection between a performer and their audience at a live show, how political burnout led to the more personal themes on new album “Connectivity”, how genres can help and hinder artists, choosing your own truth on the internet and trying to create boundaries online – how even a fan can ruin your day.
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    About your host: I'm Laura Kidd, a music producer and solo artist releasing music as Penfriend. Come and grab two free songs plus letters about art and music from http://penfriend.rocks/hello.
    .
    My new album “Exotic Monsters” is out now: http://penfriend.rocks/exoticmonsters
    Sponsor the podcast here: https://penfriend.rocks/sponsorship
    .
    The Penfriend songs featured in this episode are:
    .
    Intro: Cancel Your Hopes
    Background: Everything Looks Normal In The Sunshine
    Outro: Seashaken
    .
    Have a fab day!

    Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 1 hr 32 min
    Ep48: Rou Reynolds (Enter Shikari) on wielding music as a tool of unity

    Ep48: Rou Reynolds (Enter Shikari) on wielding music as a tool of unity

    Visit the deluxe show notes page for this episode: http://penfriend.rocks/rou
    Read the text version: http://penfriend.rocks/rou-ts
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    Thanks for listening! Attention Engineer is a show where I share deep conversations with fellow artists about creativity, grit and determination. My aim is to consistently remind you - and remind myself - that creativity really is for everyone.
    .
    About my guest: Rou Reynolds is a vocalist, songwriter, composer, author and award-winning producer, best known for fronting Enter Shikari. Formed in 1999, the band are known for making outspoken, genre-spanning music accompanied by explosive live shows. Visit their website for music, merch and tour tickets.
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    In this episode, we discuss pre-album writing anxiety and ways to get started on new projects, exploring subjects matter from songs in a more expansive way, the reality of being a supposed "Myspace band" - social media platforms as part of a larger puzzle, music making as mountain climbing: tough and lonely at times - but exhilarating, too, mindfulness and meditation as tools for a better understanding of ourselves and the importance of a decent chair when you're someone who sits in one all day long.
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    About your host: I'm Laura Kidd, a music producer and solo artist releasing music as Penfriend. Come and grab two free songs plus letters about art and music from http://penfriend.rocks/hello.
    .
    My new album “Exotic Monsters” is out now: http://penfriend.rocks/exoticmonsters
    Sponsor the podcast here: https://penfriend.rocks/sponsorship
    .
    Have a fab day!

    Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Ep47: Miki Berenyi (Piroshka / Lush) on celebrating a breadth of voices in music

    Ep47: Miki Berenyi (Piroshka / Lush) on celebrating a breadth of voices in music

    Visit the deluxe show notes page for this episode: http://penfriend.rocks/miki
    Read the text version: http://penfriend.rocks/miki-ts
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    Content warning: this is a very joyfully sweary episode so probably not best listened to in the presence of kids.
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    Thanks for listening! Attention Engineer is a show where I share deep conversations with fellow artists about creativity, grit and determination. My aim is to consistently remind you - and remind myself - that creativity really is for everyone. Let’s kick that inner critic where it hurts!
    .
    About my guest: Miki Berenyi is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who first became known in the late ’80s and ’90s as a member of Lush, and currently makes music in Piroshka.
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    Get your copy of "Love Drips And Gathers" by Piroshka here.
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    In this episode, we discuss how Miki was a huge inspiration for teenage wannabe-musician me, what it's like for her starting a new band after 20 years out of the music world, how creative work *is* work…but that’s okay, escaping the cartoon image of “Miki from Lush” and our shared future in chilblain rock.
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    About your host: I'm Laura Kidd, a music producer and solo artist releasing music as Penfriend. Come and grab two free songs plus letters about art and music from http://penfriend.rocks/hello.
    .
    My new album “Exotic Monsters” is out now: http://penfriend.rocks/exoticmonsters
    Sponsor the podcast here: https://penfriend.rocks/sponsorship
    .
    Have a fab day!

    Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 1 hr 31 min
    Ep46: Ginger Wildheart on creating a you-sized shape in the world of music

    Ep46: Ginger Wildheart on creating a you-sized shape in the world of music

    Visit the deluxe show notes page: http://penfriend.rocks/ginger
    Read the text version: http://penfriend.rocks/ginger-ts
    .
    Thanks for listening! Attention Engineer is a show where I share deep conversations with fellow artists about creativity, grit and determination. My aim is to consistently remind you - and remind myself - that creativity really is for everyone. Let’s kick that inner critic where it hurts!
    .
    About my guest: Ginger Wildheart has been busy releasing music since the late 1980’s: as the leader of British rock band The Wildhearts, as a solo artist and as a member of numerous side projects and collaborations. Ever keen to find new ways to embrace his special relationship with supporters of his music, over the years he’s experimented with release methods outside the record label model including crowdfunding triple album 555% and running fan subscription club “the Ginger Associated Secret Society” or G-A-S-S.
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    Pre-order The Wildhearts’ 10th studio album “21st Century Love Songs” now – out on 3rd September 2021.
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    In this episode, we discuss why Ginger would rather be a member of Sparks than a bigger but vastly inferior band, songwriting as a service, the beauty and resonance of the direct to fan relationship, the life-changing power of a song, why learning what not to do is more valuable than learning what’s awesome and what about the music industry? – predictions for a more sustainable, less bloated future.
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    About your host: I'm Laura Kidd, a music producer and solo artist releasing music as Penfriend. Come and grab two free songs plus letters about art and music from http://penfriend.rocks/hello.
    .
    My new album “Exotic Monsters” is out now: http://penfriend.rocks/exoticmonsters
    Sponsor the podcast here: https://penfriend.rocks/sponsorship
    .
    Have a fab day!

    Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Ep45: Mary Spender on finding a smarter route to a full-time music career and building a huge fanbase on YouTube

    Ep45: Mary Spender on finding a smarter route to a full-time music career and building a huge fanbase on YouTube

    Visit the deluxe show notes page: http://penfriend.rocks/mary
    Read the text version: http://penfriend.rocks/mary-ts
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    Thanks for listening!
    .
    About my guest: combining her sultry voice and electric guitar to create rock songs infused with blues and soul, Mary Spender’s songwriting showcases her virtuosic style of guitar playing as well as her wide vocal range. Mary has amassed over 46 million hits on her YouTube channel, with nearly half a million subscribers watching her weekly videos, predominantly targeted towards guitarists and singer/songwriters.
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    She also offers online courses in Ableton Live (with producer Rachel K Collier) and Fingerstyle Guitar for Beginners on her website maryspender.com.
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    In this episode, we discuss finding a smarter way to grow your audience as a musician – opting out of the traditional singer-songwriter slog to make a full-time job of being a guitar nerd, what it takes to go from zero to half a million YouTube subscribers, how finishing John Mayer’s song for him led to a surprise package in the post and negative online comments – finding empathy for those who love to hate you on the internet.
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    About your host: I'm Laura Kidd, a music producer and solo artist releasing music as Penfriend. Come and grab two free songs plus letters about art and music from http://penfriend.rocks/hello.
    .
    Here's the direct link for my YouTube video about slaying your inner critic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3RQWj88Jck&t=1s
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    AND my new album “Exotic Monsters” is out now: http://penfriend.rocks/exoticmonsters
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    Recommended listening after this: Ep44: Ken Stringfellow (The Posies / R.E.M. / Big Star) on saying "yes" and Ep11: Skating Polly on the importance of dedication

    Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

jvv220 ,

Great insight from one artist to another

I found Laura's music late in the life of her former self "She Makes War" but now all in with her new project Penfriend. Her music is a calm during this storm we call life. Now she has a podcast where she talks to other artists. Just a great conversation between 2 people. You feel like you're at the table with them as they discuss everyting from creating their art, to what their reading/listening to, to what's next in their career.
The series started with Tanya Donelly (Belly). The discussion between these 2 friends is fantastic, charming and informative. Another great episode is Laura's interview with Frank Turner. Frank's answer to the best Springsteen songs to get started with, was magical and thought provoking. After listening to the podcasts, check out her webpage where there are "notes" to the episode including videos and handwritten notes from the artists.
I look forward to future episodes discovering artists I'm not familiar with to getting inside the mind's of artists I already know.

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