By Amanda DK

I will never forget Elizabeth & The Catapult.  The Brooklyn band (at it’s core, singer-songwriter Elizabeth Ziman) performed at the first ever industry showcase I attended, in support of their first major label album, Taller Children, released on Verve in 2009.

Ziman’s sophomore effort, The Other Side of Zero is a more mature, melancholy turn for the artist.  The piece was actually commissioned by NPR for Lincoln Center, and heavily influenced by the poetry of Leonard Cohen – Ziman immersed herself in Book of Longing while writing her music.  The result is a selection of sensitive piano yarns that show off the artist’s vocal and storytelling skills.  Her voice is saturated with emotion, yet still polished and controlled.

My favorite moments however, are when she chooses to let go.  “Go Away My Lover” is my favorite song on The Other Side of Zero by far for this very reason.  Other than Ziman’s haunting, lyrical vocals, the instrumental toolbox feels completely different.  What grabbed me first was the percussion.  Jagged sounds layer one atop another, building throughout the song, while still retaining a raw, primal energy not heard anywhere else on the album .  The production is very intimate and organic, and the outcome is a physical energy.  Like ancient cultures using a clatter of sounds to ward off evil spirits, it is as though Ziman is trying to drive the listener further and further away.

At the end of the day though, the song has the opposite effect: I’m only more interested to see what Elizabeth & The Catapult does next.

Elizabeth & The Catapult “Go Away My Lover”

Purchase The Other Side of Zero on iTunes, or listen on Spotify.