There is something magical – even entrepreneurial – supporting a piece of art well before its creation. You could also call it ‘art for art’s sake’. But this is what audiences do via the wonders of crowdfunding to keep sounds that they love spinning or streaming. The artist in question here is the Melbourne outfit Tinpan Orange: vocalist/songwriter Emily Lubitz, Jesse Lubitz on guitar/vocals, maestro Alex Burstay on violin/guitar and Danny Farrugia on drums.
The February release of their single Richman off the album Love is a Dog (released 8 April) has proved to be one of many musically rich golden tracks signifying the layered quality of their songs. Each track has their own Tinpan tidbit of resonating dynamics and rhythms that get you singing out loud. Lyric fragments and vocal riffs have been etched already in household psyches on Cities of Gold: “Am I young enough to be told/Am I old enough to be old enough?” This lyrical line is a question Emily Lubitz poses to herself on where she sits in music-biz land and how others are making their dreams in America. The album title track Love is a Dog harks of big ole Americana 1940’s swing: “Love is a big old lost dog/ I wish I was a bone/Than to be on my own… and wouldn’t be out of place when the credits are rolling on a romantic art-house feature film.
It’s hard pressed to describe Tinpan Orange as an independent folk group hearing the compositions created on Leopard, Fools and Cowboys and Lucky One. Emily Lubitz gives us her free flowing vocal style and haunting falsetto with Sarah Blasko moments mixed with 1940’s Sinatra croon. Like their well-thumbed CD covers before them this album is timeless, jazz hued and wistful.