With a Pozible crowdfunding campaign giving them a huge vote of confidence, Australia’s indie folk darlings Tin Pan Orange will release their much awaited fifth studio album Love is a Dog in April. Tiffany Mitchell spoke to Melbourne singer/songwriter Emily Lubitz about how the new album was produced, that Cabarita track and who in their band is their version of Keith Richards.
It’s been a heady few years for Emily Lubitz of Tin Pan Orange – creating a new album Love is Dog, forming and touring with her other band and being mother of two young boys. We start by talking about the direction of this new album?
“We really wanted to see it as a progression,” says Emily. “Two albums ago we did a home recording and it was a lot of layers, so we didn’t play anything together, we tracked it all in our living room. With the second album we were in a studio with a producer and he was very involved, he cut up our songs, he had so many opinions, we went with him because we love his style, his sound. And then with Love is a Dog we wanted to go back to doing it on our own – but we wanted to play live, we wanted that feeling of people in a room playing a song together, it’s not perfect but it’s that energy. We used this amazing guy – Adam Selzer – in Portland in America to mix it and he brought this whole beautiful quality which was really in line with the raw, live sound.”
Emily says that many songs on the album have a feeling of longing. In particular a track called Cities of Gold.
I have been doing this for ten years, I’m 33 and I’ve got this other life with family and stuff and I guess sometimes I don’t know where I am in the landscape of the music biz. I have doubts and I have my insecurities and I watch these people who I am a huge fan of doing things… it is sort of second guessing maybe, where I am in my life and why I am doing it.
When asked about the album title, why IS love a Dog, Emily is passionate.
“It’s actually a reference from a Charles Bukowski poem – Love is a Dog from hell. I really like Bukowski,” she says. “He often inspires me. It’s a reference to him but I kind of took off those last two words … ‘from hell’ – because Love is a dog is from my position and I guess it’s ambiguous and it depends how you see dogs.”
Interestingly there is a song titled Cabarita and Emily confirms that Harry wrote that song about the coastal hamlet over the border.
“He put a spell on me as he played it to me and said this could be a Tin Pan song – he wanted an Aussie rural town – I don’t know if he’d ever been there, he might’ve just seen the sign when he tours up there and liked the syllables.”
Decoding the Tin Pan Orange sound, I suggest that guitarist/violinist Alex Burkoy must be like having their own version of Keith Richards on lead guitar.
“Can you please write that,” Emily laughs. “That’s so great, that’s awesome – he so IS! He is so exciting to play with – as Harry says he’s our ‘music enabler’! Alex just follows an idea, does it and then some.”
Tin Pan Orange’s growing legion of fans who pledged their crowd funding support mid 2015 have now received their signed CD or vinyl. And they won’t have to wait long to hear the new album live when the band takes to the road in April on a national tour that stretches from Launceston to Darwin.
Tin Pan Orange play Mullum Civic Hall, 14 May.