On April 21st, Bar None Records released Petra Haden’s first two solo works on vinyl. Petra Haden has been a member of That Dog and recently sang with her two sisters, Rachel and Tanya, as The Haden Triplets to honor their late father, legendary jazz bassist and composer Charlie Haden. But it has been her unusual a cappella albums that have really garnered attention.
It is difficult to describe the impact of the music she makes. I will quote her record company’s website, where they describe her “uncanny ability to use her voice to recreate the sounds of the instruments she heard, and to develop elaborate pop, jazz, blues and classical arrangements based on those sounds.”
On Imaginaryland, Petra Haden uses her unique vocalizations enhanced with minimal utilization of string instruments. A few favorite tracks include “I’m Tired,” where her voice soars into the ether, and her experiments with multi-tracking on Il Soltario. Her cover of the entire “The Who Sells Out” came to fruition after musician Mike Watt gave Petra an 8-track recorder with seven empty tracks and the Who album on one track. Her version of “Our Love Was” is one of the dreamiest melodies I’ve ever heard, and has had a place on every Mp3 mix I have made since first hearing it. Hopefully on the new album the song will come to full bloom with a warmth and presence caught only on vinyl.