She Makes War – Little Battles (My Big Sister)
She Makes War is intrinsically a one-woman band, namely Laura Kidd, a multi-instrumentalist with experience playing bass for Tricky, A-Ha, I Blame Coco, and many others. For her second record, various guest artists show up for a turn, from Tasmin Archer to Chris T-T, and although the list of names is impressive, and indicates Kidd is held in high regard amongst her peers, I’m not sure what they truly add. At its heart, “Little Battles” is a singer-songwriter album with alt. rock leanings. Kidd writes and plays just about everything, and though it’s nice to have friends, I’m not sure why so many of them need to play on the record.
Get past the distractions and there are several tracks that require serious listening. “Minefields” and “Exit Strategy” are little too similar to mid-period PJ Harvey to really satisfy, but “Butterflies” just sparkles and “Magpie Heart” keeps it simple and allows the song and Kidd’s voice to take the limelight; perhaps that’s how it should be. “May Our Daughters Return Home” features a host of guest vocalists, but on this occasion it comes together perfectly, its choral lamentations retelling the poignant tale of Mexico’s lost daughters. For further details, Google is your friend.