She Makes War - Direction Of Travel

Having toured the UK and Europe relentlessly over recent years, She Makes War is looking at making the breakthrough in 2016 with her third album. Based in Bristol, and a regular on the gig scene, Laura Kidd has made a name for herself supporting acts as diverse as Suede and Tune-yards. Having given the Edinburgh Fringe a go with her one woman show she's back to music with her self produced, and mostly self instrumented, Direction Of Travel.

Anyone familiar with her live shows, often solo support slots, might initially think they're playing the wrong album; this has a depth of sound and larger sense of scale than Kidd can hope to produce on her live budget. Direction Of Travel is also a leap forward from her previous long players, though it builds on the promise of 2015's EP Disarm: 15. The biggest change is the ambition on show, and the feel of someone who's achieved a clarity of their vision. From the opening urgency of the rhythm on 'Drown Me Out', to the no nonsense approach of 'Cold Shoulder' ("I'm waiting in line / He's taking his fucking time"), and the fragility of the beautiful, touching 'Paper Thin', this is the good stuff.

It all sounds a lot like a product of the early 90s grunge scene, at times melding with the darker side of mid-90s indie. And it's all the better for it. She Makes War has delivered one of the most fulfilling experiences of 2016 so far.


Grungey, tuneful, fragile, bitter, and brilliant.


out of 10

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