Pop The Placebo

Album: Sincerely, E (2020)
Play Video


  • The placebo effect occurs when a patient gets better after taking what they believe is medication, but is really just something inert, like a sugar pill. It's proof of the healing power of the mind, and it adds another level of complexity to the already dizzying amount of medical information we're bombarded with. In this song, Elizabeth And The Catapult takes the voice of someone getting medical advice from all sides, including healers with dubious credentials. "A lot of it is about being overwhelmed by the wellness industry and all the ads that we're bombarded with on Instagram and Facebook and feeling like we're never good enough," she said on the Songfacts Podcast.
  • Elizabeth And The Catapult is the performing name of Elizabeth Ziman, who along with the composer Paul Brill, has done music on many documentary films, including Trapped, In My Father's House, and A Dangerous Son. "Pop The Placebo" reflects her cinematic mentality. "I have a side of me that's always thinking of string arrangements and how something can just flesh out in a more moderate romanticized way," she told Songfacts. "This song I initially did very live and immediate, and then I realized that the story of the song felt like every verse is about a different character, and it really felt to me like a little movie in a song: little acts in a play."
  • Much of the Sincerely, E album is just Elizabeth And The Catapult at the piano, but this song has a lot more going on musically. She plays guitar, piano, Fender Rhodes and mellotron on the track; Adam Minkoff is on bass; Katie Jacoby plays violin and viola; and Joanna Schubert adds background vocals.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Yacht Rock Quiz

Yacht Rock QuizFact or Fiction

Christopher Cross with Deep Purple? Kenny Loggins in Caddyshack? A Fact or Fiction all about yacht rock and those who made it.

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus WainwrightSongwriter Interviews

Rufus Wainwright on "Hallelujah," his album Unfollow The Rules, and getting into his "lyric trance" on 12-hour walks.

Ben Kowalewicz of Billy Talent

Ben Kowalewicz of Billy TalentSongwriter Interviews

The frontman for one of Canada's most well-known punk rock bands talks about his Eddie Vedder encounter, Billy Talent's new album, and the importance of rock and roll.

Scott Stapp

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.

80s Music Quiz 1

80s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

MTV, a popular TV theme song and Madonna all show up in this '80s music quiz.