Petra Haden

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Petra Haden
Petra Haden with The Decemberists in 2005
Petra Haden with The Decemberists in 2005
Background information
Born (1971-10-11) October 11, 1971 (age 49)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
  • Singer
  • musician
  • Violin
Years active1992–present
Associated acts

Petra Haden (born October 11, 1971) is an American musician and singer. She has been a member of That Dog, Tito & Tarantula, and The Decemberists. Haden has contributed to recordings by Bill Frisell, The Twilight Singers, Beck, Mike Watt, Luscious Jackson, Sun Kil Moon, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Weezer, The Rentals, Victoria Williams, Yuka Honda, The Gutter Twins, Sunn O))), and Cornelius. She is the daughter of the jazz bassist Charlie Haden, and is the triplet sister of bassist Rachel Haden (her bandmate in That Dog) and cellist Tanya Haden (married to singer and actor Jack Black); she has performed with her sisters as The Haden Triplets. She is also the sister of bassist-singer Josh Haden, leader of the group Spain.


In New York City, in 1996, she released her first album, Imaginaryland, consisting mostly of original a cappella music. In 2000, Petra was struck by a car while crossing a street in Los Angeles; the resulting injuries forced her out of performance for several months. In 2005 she released the home-recorded album Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out (Bar/None), a complete a cappella rendition of The Who Sell Out. The project was suggested to Haden by longtime friend Mike Watt, who also gave her the eight-channel multi-track cassette recorder she used to make it.[1] Funded in part by a Durfee grant and wanting to perform the work live, Haden created a new arrangement of The Who Sell Out for a ten-woman a cappella choir called Petra Haden & The Sellouts. The premiere live performance of the full work occurred in July 2005 at the Ford Amphitheatre as a part of the "sound." concert series.

She has also released a self-titled collaboration with jazz guitarist Bill Frisell.

She contributed to the recording of ØØ Void by drone metal band Sunn O))) and played on the debut and follow up album of Sunn O))) guitarist Greg Anderson's other doom metal band Goatsnake. The Haden Triplets sang the part of the Fates in Anaïs Mitchell's 2010 release Hadestown on Righteous Babe Records.

She is also at work on a collection of songs with Yuka Honda,[2] apparently with contributing performances by Sean Lennon.

In 2007, Haden recorded an a cappella cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" for the compilation album Guilt by Association Vol. 1.[3] This arrangement of the song is very similar to that used in the Glee version of the song in 2009.[4]

She performed on the soundtrack to the film An American Crime, starring Catherine Keener and Elliot Page, which premiered on Showtime in May 2008.

In 2009, Toyota commissioned Haden to perform three songs for television commercials for the third-generation Toyota Prius, including an a cappella version of the Bellamy Brothers 1970s song "Let Your Love Flow"[5] and worked as an arranger and vocal coach on The Sing Off on NBC, alongside Deke Sharon.[6]

Haden played violin on "Sentimental Tune" by Tegan and Sara, off of their album Sainthood (released October 27, 2009).

In 2011, Haden formed the group If By Yes with Yuka Honda, the culmination of an eight-year songwriting collaboration. The band released one album, Salt on Sea Glass[7] Other band members included Yuko Araki on drums and Hirotaka “Shimmy” Shimizu on guitar, with contributions from David Byrne and Nels Cline.

In 2014 she worked on a collaboration with Jim Bianco in Hooray Matinee. The resulting tracks were released on a number of digital outlets.

In 2015, she provided vocals for the rock mockumentary "Gentle & Soft: The Blue Jean Committee Story", the 1st season finale of the IFC series Documentary Now! (starring Fred Armisen & Bill Hader). Haden's voice was used as the falsetto of Blue Jean Committee bassist Clark Honus (played by Hader). Haden even appeared live with Armisen & Hader as "The Blue Jean Committee" on Late Night With Seth Meyers, with Hader lip-synching to Haden's vocals.[8]

Also in 2015, Haden again collaborated with Bill Frisell, providing vocals on his 2016 album When You Wish Upon A Star.[9]

In 2016, the song "Easy Street" by The Collapsable Hearts Club, which featured Haden and Jim Bianco, played throughout The Walking Dead episode "The Cell". A few hours after the episode's broadcast, the song rose to number 92 in the UK Singles Chart.[10]


With The Rentals

With Bill Frisell

With Miss Murgatroid

  • Bella Neurox (1999)
  • Hearts & Daggers (2008)

With That Dog

With The Decemberists

  • Picaresque (2005)
  • A Practical Handbook (2007)

With Paul Motian

With The Blue Jean Committee


  • Horrible Halloween Noizes (2016)

With Mark Kozelek

  • Joey Always Smiled (2019)


  1. ^ Bowe, Brian (March 2005). "Petra Haden Sells Out". Creem Magazine Online. Creem Magazine. Archived from the original on 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  2. ^ Horwitz, Andy (8 January 2007). "Performance Report: The Rapture Project". Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  3. ^ "Will Oldham, Devendra Banhart cover Spice Girls, Mariah". NME. 7 May 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
  4. ^ "Glee Cast Glee: The Music, Volume 1 Review". BBC. 11 Feb 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  5. ^ "Toyota Lets the Love Flow". Adtunes. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  6. ^ "AOL Radio - Free Internet Radio - Listen to Millions of Songs, Hundreds of Stations Online". Retrieved 2014-08-12.
  7. ^ "If By Yes: Salt on Sea Glass". Retrieved 2016-05-08.
  8. ^ "Blue Jean Committee - Catalina Breeze (live on Late Night with Seth Meyers)". Retrieved 2015-09-28.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-16. Retrieved 2016-09-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "easy-street | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Petra Haden | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 January 2017.

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