This Buzz for You: Elizabeth & the Catapult, Like It Never Happened

When she sings, "I wish I didn't give a fuck," Elizabeth Ziman, Elizabeth in Elizabeth & the Catapult, smiles the sweetest smile you can imagine in spite of (or, perhaps, because of) such line. The track, "Wish I Didn't," is both a bitter and biting love song (and, admittedly, my favorite) from Ziman's album, and is a good one-track example of what to expect from Like It Never Happened: catchy pop, but with delightful incongruities that leave you wondering where this kind of pop has been.

Just as you don't expect a line containing "fuck" to come after the layered vocal opening of "Wish I Didn't," you don't expect the album's first track, "Happy Pop" to not be happy. It's in the title, after all. Yet, the immediacy of the hard, plucked, repetitive piano notes combine with lyrics about the music industry, expectation/approval, and listener consumption that are frank, honest, and realistic. Ziman is unafraid in this album to tell it exactly how she sees it--an honesty that's not always comfortable to hear, if what you're expecting is mass consumption manufactured happy pop. Her forthrightness never seems or sounds like a drag: while musical arrangements have a simplified feel, they are playful and playfully inventive. The tracks "Sugar Covered Poison" and "Please Yourself," for example, sound as if you're entering under the big top into a world of carnival burlesque and, somehow, neither sounds out of place listening to the album as whole.

Compared to the band's earlier releases, Like It Never Happened is more lyrically driven, as Ziman admits she "wasn't trying to be as clever or as intricate musically." This back-to-basics simplicity is emphasized in her choice to include a cover of Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You In The End," set simply to Ziman's piano playing. The track's arrangement forces you to focus on Johnston's lyrics and song writing style, which Ziman describes as "so primitive...but somehow says so much in so few words." The same can be said of Ziman's own track "Someday Soon," for its similar quiet and ability to pack a lot into seemingly sparse turns of phrase.

Ziman describes Like It Never Happened as "organic, effortless, inspired, fast, and furious." I say, if you're one of many who's endured what seems an interminable winter, Like It Never Happened is a very fine, fun way to welcome your ears to Spring.

Like It Never Happened is available now.

To keep an eye on Elizabeth & the Catapult's performance dates, check out her website.

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