From her home in the hills some 40 minutes outside Byron, Tinpan Orange’s Emily Lubitz – one third of the folk/pop band, alongside brother/guitarist Jesse and violinist Alex Burkoy, which has released five albums and expect to release an EP in coming months – braces herself for the interrogation.
There are 12 topics. There are no escape routes. But there is a plug as a reward for making it to the end.
THE FIRST RECORD THAT BLEW YOUR MIND
My tiny mind, my child mind: Kylie Minogue - Locomotion. I just played it over and over, I had a cassette tape of it, and I just loved the song. And she was just so cool, such great hair, such great outfits. It was as simple as that. I was maybe eight. I also had this weird Buddy Holly phase, when I was seven or eight as well. I would go between Kylie and Buddy Holly.
THE FIRST RECORD YOU BOUGHT
That would be the Beach Boys - Kokomo. It wasn’t quite the good stuff, but I loved the Beach Boys as well when I was young. I know Kokomo is so sad - I found Pet Sounds later - but I still love that song: it takes me to a really happy place. When I was seven or eight, my family went on a trip for six months and we went to New York. We bought a CD player that we schlepped around with us, all around the world, because it was all new in the ‘80s, and we all got to choose a couple of CDs. The Beach Boys were my CD.
[With Kylie, Buddy and Beach Boys] it was the first time I could remember having my own tastes.
THE SONG YOU WISH YOU HAD WRITTEN
I wish that I had written all of Gillian Welch’s songs. I love her so much and whenever I listen to her I think, dammit, why didn’t I get to that one? I feel like her songs, I could just grow old, I could be halfway in the grave, and be singing her songs. Forever.
THE SONG THAT SOUNDTRACKED YOUR FIRST PASH OR FIRST SEXUAL ENCOUNTER
I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention to what was playing. Jesus there was a lot at stake. But I must say I think I had my first wet dream-ish kind of thing to the Beach Boys. Which is weird, I know - do girls even have wet dreams? But yeah, I was pretty in love with the Beach Boys. I might regret saying that, but it’s true.
THE SONG YOU WISH YOU COULD GO BACK AND REWRITE OR RECORD
A lot of them. As soon as I release an album, I am done. Of course, I’ll play the songs live, but I never want to hear [the recorded version] again, pretty much. So can I say none, or all?
YOUR GO-TO SONG WHEN YOU NEED TO KICK START YOUR DAY
At the moment I’m in love with Dan Auerbach’s Waiting On A Song. I put it on and I dance around the house. When I’ve got somewhere to go, I chuck that on.
YOUR GO-TO SONG WHEN YOU JUST WANT A HUG
I’m thinking maybe, I Will by The Beatles, on the White Album. That song makes me very warm and fuzzy inside.
THE SONG YOU ARE PROUDEST ABOUT WRITING
I think, maybe, my song called Barcelona. I have listened to that again, recently, for some reason and that’s a pretty alright song. That’s alright.
FAVOURITE PLUBLIC SERVICE AD CAMPAIGN (that’s Lubitz singing Dumb Ways To Die if you didn’t already know)
Be Safe Around Trains, the message from Metro, surely would have to be the most helpful one in terms of my career. I do session work a lot and if it’s for an ad or something, I usually say I don’t want to be named. With this one I did that as well. Ollie McGill from The Cat Empire, who wrote the music and produced it, got me in to do the session. I didn’t think anything of it and said don’t tell anyone it’s me. Then a few weeks later he was like, you know that session you did with me, it’s kind of going viral.
After a few days I was like, just tell them it’s me. It ended up being good. I got a few publishing opportunities from it and it ended up being quite a blessing in the end.
YOUR CURRENT FAVOURITE SONG OR ALBUM
I’ve been listening to Nina Simone a lot lately. Let’s say Here Comes The Sun, that’s a good Nina album.
YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE SONG OR ALBUM
That’s so hard. Carole King’s Tapestry, maybe. As a Jewish girl songwriter. I do feel that that was a very important album for me and she was a very important songwriter for me, Carole.
Tinpan Orange’s new single is Turn It On Again.
We released it on Friday. The guys came up to where I live, and in our home studio we recorded it just before lockdown. We did our film clip in iso: we filmed ourselves on our phones and laptops and then our friend filmed our filming on his laptop and edited together.
Isolation, loneliness, I think they are good things to feel as an artist, and as a human. We’ve got to feel those things and maybe a lot of my songs touch on that.