Just over a year after their first release Taller Children received national acclaim, Elizabeth & the Catapult has released the follow-up, The Other Side of Zero. Their new album features uplifting pop tunes and melancholy ballads that will make you dance and swoon.
Lead vocalist Elizabeth Ziman is a classically trained pianist and it shows on her album. She incorporates heartfelt melodies and brilliant chordal movements in her songs. Beautiful piano playing and string swells accompany the ballad “Do Not Hang Your Head.” The pop tune “The Horse & the Missing Cart” alternatively has lively staccato piano. Elizabeth’s vocals are very clearly heard while her words are both clever and emotional. Elizabeth skillfully jumps across her passagio vocal range into falsetto on the song “(Time) We All Fall Down.” “Worn Out Tune” features a vocal Leslie effect. She uses her voice on “Open Book” as if she is making a wish while looking out the window on a rainy day.
The songwriting on The Other Side of Zero is excellent. The chords and melodies flow well and take unexpected turns. Tempo changes and Beatle-esque chord movements add color and vibrancy. There are unusual percussive instruments and rhythms on the album such as hand claps, a hand drum, and what sounds like spoons hitting cans and bottles on “Go Away My Lover.” Nylon string guitar, banjo, finger picking, and bluesy electric guitar on stand out “You & Me” are just some of the guitar techniques featured on the album.
Overall, Elizabeth & the Catapult’s new album is a well-crafted piece of work. Soothing vocals, pop hooks, and sentimental ballads make this album dynamic. The superb song writing is sure to please their current fans and bring in new ones.