Miss Murgatroid & Petra Haden – Hearts & Daggers

January 01, 1970

(File Under: Music)





Accordion, violin and voice, all pitched at their most
unearthly, twine and curl together in nine extraordinary compositions here. In
their second record together, accordionist/singer Miss Murgatroid (Alicia J.
Rose) and violin/vocalist Petra Haden build mirage-like musical landscapes that
flit from torch jazz to periwigged minuet to gypsy campfire songs.


The vocals take center stage (building perhaps on Petra
Haden’s prior experiments with a capella arrangements) but sound, for the most
part, like anything but voices, billowing in wordless clouds, punching staccato
blots of rhythm, sliding and scatting and executing the most arcane harmonies
and counterparts. The main instruments share timbre with the two women’s
voices, the accordion as rich and tremulous as an alto singer, the violin as
keening and high as a clear soprano. You listen to the accordion sometimes,
thinking it is a voice, the voices wondering how they morphed from strings. It’s
all like a trance: odd, lovely and unforgettable.


Standout Tracks: “Fade Away,” “Sleeper” JENNIFER KELLY


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