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Whimsical and wise
debut from Brooklyn trio

Elizabeth & The Catapult - Taller Children
(Verve Forecast)
3 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: July 21, 2009
Elizabeth & The Catapult

Review by Tony Bonyata

On Elizabeth & The Catapult's debut full-length album, Taller Children, the Brooklyn trio have whipped up a pleasing collection of snappy melodic pop and introspective balladry that should appeal to both young and old - much in the same way that Leslie Feist's 2008 album The Reminder brought young indie hipsters and moms and dads with middle-of-the-road pop tastes to converge together.

The threesome (singer/songwriter Elizabeth Abby Ziman, guitarist Pete Lalish and drummer Danny Molad) formed nearly five years, using the kinetic vibrancy of NYC to hone their sound. Surprisingly, though, the band opted not to record in their hometown, instead heading out to Omaha, Nebraska with producer Mike Mogis to lay down these tracks at his Presto! Recording Studio (home of both Saddle Creek Records and the band Bright Eyes). The result is smart collection of playful pop songs ("Race You," "Hit The Wall" and the cathy title track) all bustling with the energy from the streets of New York, along with simpler compositions ("Golden Ink," "Apathy" and the frail closing number "Just In Time") that mirror the vast openness of The Cornhusker's State where the album was recorded. And to sweeten the deal for first time listeners, Elizabeth's angelic voice shines throughout - channeling the Brazilian chanteuse Astrud Gilberto along with Joni Mitchell and other great female singer/songwriters from the late '60s and early '70s.

Elizabeth explains that the title song is "an ode to all of the adults who never quite figure out how to grow up." And with a delicate balance of whimsy and wiseness, Elizabeth & The Catapult have created a fine first effort that should appeal to child in all of us.

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