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Elizabeth & The Catapult come to town with Tift Merritt

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Elizabeth & The Catapult play the Tractor Tavern with Tift Merritt on November 16.

It’s not often that support acts are almost as big a draw as the headliners themselves, but Seattle is lucky to be playing host to not one but two great indie-folk acts on November 16.

For fans of modern folk and alt-country Tift Merritt will need little or no introduction, but her openers are making a big name for themselves. Brooklyn-based Elizabeth & The Catapult have been touring with Merritt in recent weeks, and in some cases they may attract almost as many fans as their touring partner.

Their 2009 album Taller Children was an underground hit, but their latest release, The Other Side of Zero, looks set to eclipse even their early success. Having jumped straight to the #1 spot on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart at the end of October, this might just be the album to catapult them to success.

We caught up with Elizabeth (and her Catapult) prior to their Tractor Tavern show for a quick, Zen-like Q&A on the road.

Dan Coxon: Your new album, The Other Side Of Zero, has a slightly darker tone than your debut. Why do you think this is?

Elizabeth & The Catapult: The songs that Tony Berg (our producer) were most drawn to had a more serious, honest tone to them.

DC: How did you come to collaborate with Gillian Welch on the title track?

E&TC: Gillian visited the studio for a day, and I begged her to listen to the title track. Luckily she really dug it.

DC: Is it true that The Other Side Of Zero was inspired by Leonard Cohen’s Book Of Longing? What was it that struck a chord?

E&TC: He’s trying to reach all these Buddhist ideals, and falling a bit short. I was having the same experience at the time. Most of the songs are about being easier on yourself, and learning to laugh at your mistakes.

DC: You’ve been touring a lot recently, with Jukebox The Ghost and Aimee Mann as well as Tift Merritt. What particular challenges have come with being on the road?

E&TC: Having enough activities to always keep you busy in the car… books on tape, comic books, knitting, Arrested Development, card games…

Tift Merritt and Elizabeth & The Catapult play the Tractor Tavern, Seattle, on November 16. Tickets are available at Sonic Boom, and online through the TicketWeb website, priced $18 plus fees.

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