Arriving from Brooklyn and New York's Lower East Side by way of Tin Pan Alley, singer/songwriter Elizabeth Ziman is the creative light behind Elizabeth and the Catapult, the genre-blurring pop outfit she fronts with co-conspirator, drummer and multi-instrumentalist Danny Molad. After a self-released EP and some highly buzzed club performances, Ziman signed with Verve and debuted in 2009 with Taller Children, an album filled to the brim with breezy, whimsical and witty alt-pop tunes and a heady, intelligent mix of cabaret torch and skittering, Kurt Weill-meets-the Beatles rambunctious twists.
The excellent, highly anticipated follow up, The Other Side of Zero (October 26, Verve), moves easily from sunshine to shadows with inspired production support from Tony Berg (Peter Gabriel, Jesca Hoop) and an ambitious tone that Ziman compares to the filmwork of Stanley Kubrick or David Lynch: "a little darker, a little more tongue-in-cheek." Led by the irresistible single "You and Me", Zero is the sum of insanely catchy melodies, showtuned theatrical drama and Ziman's lovely, unaffected vocals. As we've noted before, we worship at Ziman's heartbreaking ballad altar, and Zero delivers some of her finest yet including the spine-tingling piano confessional "Open Book", waltzing title track and the glistening "Thank You for Nothing." "Even the happiest sounding pop songs on this record have a tinge of regret and darkness to them", Ziman reflects, adding, "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."
Elizabeth and the Catapult - "You and Me" (from the album The Other Side of Zero)