Out this January 22 via Anti-, the album features Petra Haden, a highly regarded musician and former member of That Dog, delivering a cappella versions of songs from films such as Rebel Without A Cause, Taxi Driver, Superman and more.
Haden, who hails from a musical family that includes her father, distinguished jazz bassist Charlie Haden, has contributed to records by Beck, The Twilight Singers, The Decemberists, Foo Fighters, Mike Watt and others as well as collaborated with the acclaimed guitarist Bill Frisell. In 2005, at the suggestion of bassist Mike Watt, she recorded and released an a-cappella rendition of the Who’s pop art masterwork “The Who Sell Out” to widespread acclaim. Upon hearing the record, Pete Townshend telephoned Haden to enthusiastically thank her, proclaiming her version of his album “beautiful.”
Petra Goes To The Movies is the culmination of Haden’s lifelong love for both vocal interpretation and movie music: “The idea of interpreting music with my voice started when I was a kid,” she explains. “I would hear music around the house and mimic the instruments with my voice. One of my favorite things about watching movies is listening to the score.”
In addition to Haden’s multi layered vocals, the record features notable guest appearances by jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Charlie Haden and Bill Frisell.
Haden says the songs on the album were selected from soundtracks she emotionally connected with and seemed to add something significant to the film – from the otherworldly sonic landscape of Ennio Morricone’s “A Fistful of Dollars Theme,” the weight John Williams instilled in the noble and heroic “Superman” to the bittersweet romantic longing of Dustin Hoffman’s character in “Tootsie.”
“When I saw the film Social Network and heard "Hand Covers Bruise" (composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross), it brought out emotions in me that were so strong. It's an intense feeling that's hard to describe. When I'm in a bad mood or feeling low, I know that when I pick up my violin and play, or when I sing a song, I always feel better. That's what music does to me.”
Haden will be performing songs from Petra Goes To The Movies live in Los Angeles on on January 26th at the Getty Center and February 9th at the First Unitarian Church. For these events, Haden will be joined by a 16 person choir.