I’ve been a big fan of Petra Haden ever since her home-recorded a cappella version of the entire Who Sells Out album (click the picture to purchase) came out on Bar/None over two years ago. Of course I should have known about her long before that. Apart from being a member of that dog, The Rentals and The Decemberists she’s also an in-demand session musician and vocalist having played and/or sang on dozens of records by artists such as the Foo Fighters, Green Day, Mike Watt, Luscious Jackson, Victoria Williams and Beck.
What I’m really digging though is her a cappella work. Now when I say a cappella I don’t mean she’s just singing the words without any music behind her. She does everything: guitars, strings, drums, bass, keyboards; all with just her voice. At first I thought the novelty would wear off pretty quickly but every time I hear it I get this warm happy feeling and repeated listens only leave me more impressed with what she can do with those vocal chords. Plus some of the cheesy cover selections are just too damn fun.
The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” (unreleased from her official site)
Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin‘” (from the compilation Guilt By Association on Engine Room Recordings)
Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (unreleased)