Brooklyn’s Elizabeth Ziman, otherwise known as Elizabeth and the Catapult, incorporates her dreams into much of the music she writes. Using a diary to record thoughts, visions, impressions, and words, she works those pieces together in her songs. So, it’s not surprising that Elizabeth and the Catapult‘s upcoming album, Keepsake, uses nostalgia and transformation as its two central themes. After all, nostalgia is often best celebrated in the lines and images recorded by someone in their journal.
Ziman also allows the city of New York to inspire her work as she pens her words and melodies all over town in various locales. That approach is captured charmingly in the new video for “Underwater” directed by Meredith Adelaide. Adelaide says, “I wanted to show Elizabeth in as true a form as possible as the song to me is so honest and self-reflective. We ended up shooting entirely in her ‘spaces’ where she actually creates her work—the graveyard, the beach, her loft. We spoke a lot about our own processes as individual artists and our time/relationship with New York. I was able to insert some of my own interpretations of the city and create a kind of collage of events that related to us both.”
Ziman tells PopMatters that she’s “written so many songs about learning to fall more gracefully, but not a lot of songs about actually daring myself to fall, just for the sheer challenge of it. This is a celebratory anthem shouting ‘get dirty, roll around, say screw it, and get into a big ol’ mess on purpose; I trust we’ll know how to get out of it!’—a dare to learn how to get back up faster.
“The video was a total blast to shoot since I essentially visited all my favorite places in New York City to think and write. The video is a pretty accurate portrayal of not only the way I write songs but also the way I get over a tough situation. We shot at the cemetery, near my house, my rooftop, the beach, random stoops around the village, favorite cafes—basically all the places I’ve written my best songs (unfortunately, including the bathtub!)—and showed how I write, all the places I go, all the post it notes I hang around my space, and the friends I want to experience it. It feels like “a day in the life” portrait for me, including short, sweet, sentimental breakthrough moments.”
Elizabeth and the Catapult’s Keepsake releases 20 October via Compass Records.
Sci-Fi Author Ursula LeGuin's Stories of Class War, Religious Dissension, Identity Politics and More