Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Elizabeth and the Catapult
Elizabeth and the Catapult are a New York group who bring a unique take on the singer / songwriter template and have a pretty fun time shaking things up. Their latest album, The Other Side of Zero, sounds something like a breezier Suzanne Vega far removed from "Tom's Diner."
Vocalist Elizabeth Zinman's airy, light, and rather adorable vocals lilt in all the right ways and with an almost jazzy style that hides the darkness that lurks beneath her lyrics she manipulates the words around a bevy of emotions. It's sweet stuff that has this underlying sense of melancholy about it that helps power the record through all the cliches. E&TC have a bit of a sense of humor and even though things can get emotionally hairy, they sort of slyly wisecrack about the situations presented in each of the songs. The Other Side of Zero as a result remains a thoughtfully entertaining record.
From the jumpiness of "Horse and the Missing Cart," to the heart pulling, "Open Book," the record capsulizes the last 15 years of great singer songwriters into one record. From Sarah McLachlan, Cheryl Crow, and the aforementioned Suzanne Vega, they can all be found giving Elizabeth Ziman a gentle nudge in all the right directions. Heartwarming, a bit dark, and a bit fun E&TC have created a record that's at home in a coffee house as it is Radio City Music Hall. The Other Side of Zero proves that singer songwriters can be creative and good at the same time and it's something I'm not ashamed to say I actually like.