Elizabeth & the Catapult focus on the songwriting talents of Elizabeth Ziman, whose music makes room for pop, coffeehouse folk, and downtown jazz. An active musician since childhood, Ziman trained as a classical pianist until the age of 16, at which point she shifted attention toward her voice. The budding entertainer then joined Patti Austin on tour in 2002, singing background vocals for the soul legend for the next 18 months. After returning to New York in 2004, she began piecing together a trio with drummer Danny Molad and guitarist Peter Lalish. Elizabeth & the Catapult released a self-titled EP two years later, having recorded and produced the disc themselves.
After establishing a strong D.I.Y. ethic and attracting attention from (but never signing with) several major labels, the band inked a contract with Verve Records in 2008. Elizabeth & the Catapult then traveled to Nebraska, where they set up shop inside Mike Mogis' Omaha studio. Taking inspiration from the serene surroundings, the band pounded out an album's worth of material at a quick pace and returned to New York shortly thereafter. The resulting record, Taller Children, marked their major-label debut in June 2009. One year later, the group returned with a second album, The Other Side of Zero, whose dark humor was largely inspired by Leonard Cohen's Book of Longing. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi