November 12, 2008

Petra Haden & Miss Murgatroid Go Tragically Operatic (Again)

When your Dad is Jazz legend Charlie Haden, when you're part of the famed indie band The Decemberists, when Pitchfork themselves actually like your new album and declare decisively that it is NOT "navel-gazing frivolity"...well, what else is there to say?

Petra Haden finds a lot more to say in her second collaboration with Miss Murgatroid in Hearts and Daggers. As the aforementioned Pitchforkians reference, this collection of 9 elfin and paradoxically tragic operettas veers, at times, close to some 'my cup runneth over' moments but Petra and Murgatroid always seem to know just when to pull the curtain closed. And in between those rare moments they entrance the listener.

Moody and often bi-polar, the pair frolic across a richly imagined musical and lyrical landscape, often times conjuring both savagery and innocence with the simplest noncommital note. Then there's "Hummingbird". You can listen to the avant-garde and psychedelic vocal orchestration on NPR's All Songs Considered here.

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