Elizabeth & the Catapult return with a new album "The Other Side of Zero" & Fall Tour Dates

“If I had to compare our albums,” says Elizabeth Ziman, the singer/songwriter/keyboardist behind Elizabeth & the Catapult, “I’d say Taller Children has the sarcastic lightness of a Woody Allen film, and the new record’s more like Kubrick or Lynch—a little darker, a little more tongue-in-cheek.”
Not that any of these shifts are a surprise. After all, Elizabeth learned how to manipulate moods through music at an early age, whether that meant performing a wildly-expressive piano piece or belting out bizarre harmonies in New York’s world-renowned Young People’s Chorus.
And now this: The Other Side of Zero, an Elizabeth & the Catapult album that started with a Lincoln Center song cycle—performed last spring after a commission from NPR’s John Schaefer—and a cover-to-cover study of Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing collection. As the latter’s pages sunk in, Elizabeth couldn’t help but draw parallels between Cohen’s failure to meet Buddhist goals in a monastery and her own coming-of-age struggles in the big city. (The New York native grew up in the heart of Greenwich Village.)
She also wrote Elizabeth & the Catapult’s rawest set of recordings yet, including the clanging chords and galloping groove of “The Horse and the Missing Cart,” the sputtering, string-grazed percussion of “You and Me,” “We All Fall Down, the Buddhist twist on a classic love song, “Julian Darling,” a wake up call to a friend and the hopeful but heartbroken contrasts of “Thank You For Nothing.” And then there’s the title track. Led by a lean, winding piano line, it builds to a spine-tingling crescendo alongside the honey-dipped harmonies of Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings—a collaboration that was completely unplanned. Not that you’d notice, considering how seamless it sounds.
Unlike their thoroughly-demoed debut—an album that took two years to complete—the Zero sessions boiled down to a month of recording with producer Tony Berg (Peter Gabriel, Phantom Planet, Jesca Hoop) and such respected sidemen as guitarist Blake Mills and Tom Waits’ longtime touring keyboardist, Patrick Warren. The result was rough but refined, bruised but beautiful, as if Berg had placed a mic in a room and walked away, letting Elizabeth and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Danny Molad do their thing.
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.”
Elizabeth & the Catapult Fall Tour Dates
Sept 25 - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta, GA #
Oct 2 - Rusty Rudder - Dewey Beach, DE    
Oct 7 - Bates College - Benjamin Mays Center - Lewiston, ME    
Oct 11 - 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN *
Oct 12 - Cactus Club - Milwaukee, WI *   
Oct 13 - Schubas - Chicago, IL *   
Oct 14 - Radio Radio - Indianapolis, IN *  
Oct 15 - The Brillobox - Pittsburgh, PA *   
Oct 16 - Black Cat - Washington, DC *
Oct 22 - Cornell University, Just About Music Residence Hall - Ithaca, NY    
Oct 23 - Rockwood Music Hall - NY, NY    CMJ
Oct 28 - The Red Room @ Cafe 939 - Boston, MA    
Nov 4 - NightCat - Easton, MD
# w/ Aimee Mann
* w/ Jukebox the Ghost
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