Be intoxicated by the whisky soaked vocals on Tinpan Orange’s Love is a Dog

From Angus and Julia Stone to the Jackson 5, to AC/DC, nothing can beat that familial chemistry and genetic talent. Melbourne brother and sister duo Tinpan Orange are no exception, their 60s inspired indie-folk stirring up Australia’s local music scenes. With the band’s bubbling success, they’re due to strike again with the release of their new LP Love is a Dog in April.

Love is a Dog

Soothing enough to calm a raging bull, Tinpan Orange’s fifth album Love is a Dog will be sending chills down your spine for days.

Emily Lubitz claims centre stage with her whisky vocals, while her brother Jesse Lubitz sweeps below with delicate guitar melodies and bellowing harmonies. Joining the siblings is violinist Alex Burkoy, his lively string skills boosting their sound from an acoustic duo to a full throttle folk band.

The band’s previous album Over the Sun released in 2012 gained great success, their catchy single Barcelona winning them triple J Unearthed. The following year the album was also nominated for The Age Music Victoria Genre Award for Best Folk Roots Album. If you think you’ve heard a glimpse of these guys before, you may recognise Emily’s unique voice, which was used to advertise the viral sensation – Dumb Ways to Die. They have also played at some of the world’s most renowned music festivals including Laneway Festival, WOMAD, Calgary Folk Festival and Winnipeg Folk Festival, earning them a loyal fan base.

The opening tune of the burning LP, Rich Man sees Emily’s vocals at the forefront of the sound. Her floating vocal line has a breathy timbre to it and an unusually crisp huskiness. The full scope of her vocal range is utilised well, dancing around a chilling falsetto which could make anyone’s ears prick up. The chorus brings with it the sunken harmonies of Lubitz’s deepened voice, alluding to an unnerving, somewhat warning-like tone, speaking of when the “Rich man comes.” The violin however takes the spotlight for a cinematic-like string solo, faint drums pulsing in the steadying background

Following on with the rich man theme, Cities of Gold features a brighter guitar melody and vocals which make you feel like your head is up in the clouds. This is a peaceful yet cheerful song, a step up in mood from the previous eerie tone. Title track Love is a Dog is disappointingly far from a thrill. A depressing and drooping pace, it’s a sway that you won’t want to join – the lyrics ambiguous and frankly quite odd. Nonetheless, after listening to whole thing it seems to make more sense and fit into the mood of the album.

Love is a Dog is consistent with the trajectory Tinpan Orange are on and will satisfy anyone with a hunger for mature folk music. A steady and consistent pace, this is a collection of beats that will soothe a restless heart – however the lyrics may not be as soothing as the music suggests.

The band will be undertaking a big Australian tour in April, be sure to get your tickets and witness Love is a Dog in the flesh.

Friday April 15 – Sunday April 17 – Airbridge Folk Festival, Fairbridge
Friday April 29 – The Grand Poobah, Hobart
Sunday May 1 – Fresh On Charles, Launceston
Saturday May 7 – The Toff In Town, Melbourne
Sunday May 8 – Rattlers Hotel, Wallan
Saturday May 14 – Civic Hall, Mullumbimby
Sunday May 15 – Old Museum, Brisbane
Friday May 20 – The Vanguard, Sydney
Saturday May 28 – The Railway Club, Darwin
Saturday June 4 – Fly By Night, Fremantle
Sunday June 5 – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide