Elizabeth and the Catapult is an indie pop duo comprised of Elizabeth Ziman and Danny Molad. On the heels of their acclaimed debut, their latest, “The Other Side of Zero”, was recorded with producer Tony Berg (Peter Gabriel, Phantom Planet, Jesca Hoop), and features respected sidemen such as guitarist Blake Mills and Tom Waits’ longtime touring keyboardist, Patrick Warren. As Molad puts it, “The record is more blatantly honest, even rude at times..." Elizabeth continues, "Even the happiest sounding pop songs on this record have a tinge of regret and darkness to them…And thank goodness for that. Ultimately that’s the only way I’d feel comfortable singing them. I’m drawn to the ambiguity like a menacing smile.”
If you like your pop music with a side of intelligence and quirkiness, Elizabeth and the Catapult is the band for you. Ziman and Molad have crafted a very enjoyable sophomore record that is utterly refreshing, yet retains smart melodies throughout that easily imprint on the mind. Ziman’s voice is delicate and unpretentious, not far removed from Colbie Caillat in tone and style. But the band’s music is more like XTC mixed in with Cake. The introductory track, “Julian Darling”, is a bouncy and cheery tune that effortlessly grabs attention. Even better, however, is the second track, “You & Me”, which should resonate with anyone who has felt like they were “dressed like a present that’s no longer wanted.” Heartbreaking yet catchy at the same time, this song is their most accessible and could even be a hit at radio. Additional highlights include the gorgeous piano-driven ballad “Open Book” and “Worn Out Tune”, which features one of the most hauntingly memorable choruses on the record. The experimental pop of “Go Away” is a tad too eclectic and “Heart Goes Boom” (bonus track) is a rather goofy dance track, both of which sound out of place on this otherwise consistently good indie pop record.
& the Catapult
Elizabeth & the Catapult focus on the songwriting talents of Elizabeth Ziman, whose music makes room for pop, coffeehouse folk, and downtown jazz. An active musician since childhood, Ziman trained as a classical pianist until the age of 16, at which point she shifted attention toward her voice. The budding entertainer then joined Patti Austin on tour in 2002, singing background vocals for the soul legend for the next 18 months. After returning to New York in 2004, she began piecing together a trio with drummer Danny Molad and guitarist Peter Lalish. Elizabeth & the Catapult released a self-titled EP two years later, having recorded and produced the disc themselves.
After establishing a strong D.I.Y. ethic and attracting attention from (but never signing with) several major labels, the band inked a contract with Verve Records in 2008. Elizabeth & the Catapult then traveled to Nebraska, where they set up shop inside Mike Mogis' Omaha studio. Taking inspiration from the serene surroundings, the band pounded out an album's worth of material at a quick pace and returned to New York shortly thereafter. The resulting record, Taller Children, marked their major-label debut in June 2009. One year later, the group returned with a second album, The Other Side of Zero, whose dark humor was largely inspired by Leonard Cohen's Book of Longing.
for pop childhood.'
& the Catapult
"One of my favorite
Pop Artist all times!"