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REVIEW: TINPAN ORANGE - THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE
The Bottom Of The Lake

Tinpan Orange
The Bottom Of The Lake

(Buy mp3s)



Love Is A Dog

Tinpan Orange
Love Is A Dog

The Remix EP

Tinpan Orange
The Remix EP

Over The Sun

Tinpan Orange
Over The Sun

Flowers - Digital Single

Tinpan Orange
Flowers - Digital Single

Barcelona (Digital Single)

Tinpan Orange
Barcelona (Digital Single)

Like Snow

Tinpan Orange
Like Snow

Lovely

Tinpan Orange
Lovely

Death, Love & Buildings

Tinpan Orange
Death, Love & Buildings

MATT THROWE, Rave Magazine 2009

Cosmopolitan sounds on Melbourne folkists’ third album.
The multicultural melting pot that is Melbourne means various cultural (and therefore musical) elements fuse into the community, including (but certainly not limited to) gypsy and European folk traditions. These have been explored by everyone from Cat Empire, to acoustic three-piece Tinpan Orange. And even though the Empire’s Harry Angus produces and plays various instruments on this album, you’re not about to experience jaunty sing-alongs a la Days Like These and Hello here. Instead, these are restrained, elegant pieces, enhanced by Emily Lubitz’ quirky yet serene vocals. Guitarist brother Jesse is also on hand to sing a few tracks, while Alex Burkoy fills out the instrumentation with violin, mandolin, guitar, bass and ukulele. There’s a dreamy grace to the gorgeous Chinese Whispers, a melancholic gypsy tinge to Round And Round and a moving tribute in Song For Frida Kahlo ("Your colours were bolder than the brightest rainbow"). It’s an emotive, evocative and lushly listenable collection of songs.

***½



CATHERINE GALE, The Advocate 2009

EMILY and Jesse Lubitz’s gypsy-folk inspired sound was bolstered when the siblings were joined by violinst Alex Burkoy and the trio became the lovely Tinpan Orange. The Bottom of the Lake, the band’s sophomore release, was produced by Harry Angus (Jackson Jackson, The Cat Empire) and he has injected it with a fulfilling depth of layered sound. Emily Lubitz’s voice sweeps lovingly over 3/4 waltz timing and eastern European influences. La La La and Chinese Whispers are standouts on this 12-track release that becomes more infectious with each listen.


- Michael Dwyer(2009)

****(4 stars)

"There's a weird call of the old country about Tinpan Orange - especially weird if you don't have a branch of gypsy caravans in your family tree. Such is the universal sigh in Emily Lubitz's supple voice, combined with the lulling melancholy of her brother Jesse's Spanish guitar and the many smaller strings of Alex Burkoy. Chinese Whispers is all sepia postcard destinations; Every Single Day finds the singer reminiscing about an imagined future in a previous century - as one does, when the strings and murmuring male chorus are rolling just so. Her tunes drip with old-world romance, from the opening balcony scene of Romeo Don't Come to the slow motion farewell of Saudades, which sounds like the credits rolling on a receding Portuguese trading ship. Cat Empire / Jackson Jackson wildcard Harry Angus is the Melbourne group's fourth ingredient: his subtle piano lines and arranging skills are enough to make you forget the virtual absence of drums and electricity. But it is Burkoy's exhilarating violin solo in Peppercorn Trees that illustrates the restraint that makes this music so potent."







Drum Media - Sydney

Only Natural

Melbourne acoustic folk trio Tinpan Orange are all about subtlety and nuance, yet lose nothing in the dynamics department as Michael Smith discovers.
Essentially based around the songwriting of siblings Jesse and Emily Lubitz, with violin and mandolin player Alex Burkoy coming on board after the pair heard him play up at a Woodford Festival five years ago, Tinpan Orange have just released their third album, The Bottom of the Lake. “Both my brother and I write very gradually” Emily Lubitz admits. “We both write as things happen and as we think of them, so it has a natural effect of each song being a little testimony to a time.”
The siblings might write gradually, but the fact that ten of the 12 songs on the album are by Emily Lubitz, who drew some of her inspiration from living in Darwin for two and a half months last year, suggests that she’s the more prolific of the pair. “He’s our manager but he also has to keep time. He’s our metronome so he doesn’t have to write songs because that’s such an important thing when you don’t have a rhythm section. Not that I don’t love bass and drums in certain instances – we did have bass and drums at one stage and I just kept thinking ‘God, I wish they’d shut up, they’re so loud’.
“So we decided to get rid of them and I think it works in a live situation. But on the record, because we didn’t have a kit and bass, we had to create momentum and rhythm and dynamic with different things, which is why we used the harmonium and clapping and hitting the back of the ukulele for some of the percussion and string sections and all those things we layered”.
The multi instrumentalist, producer Harry Angus (The Cat Empire / Jackson Jackson) became the invisible fourth member on the album, contributing the aforementioned harmonium as well as piano, whistles, keyboards, percussion and guitar. “His work in Jackson Jackson is similar in the way it builds and then dissipates a little bit and then builds again and he brought that kind of wisdom to our thing, but obviously”, Emily hastens to add, “no synthesizers. Our thing is all acoustic instruments”





Inner City Courier Aug 20th 2009. Page 1 Cumberland Newspapers / The Glebe
Music Puts Aid on the Back Burner

The brother and sister singer-songwriter team Jesse and Emily Lubitz grew up listening to the mellow tones of Paul Simon and the tragic smokiness of Billie Holiday.
Now the duo are gaining success with their band Tinpan Orange, made up of the Lubitzes and fellow band member Alex Burkoy, who they met at a festival four years ago when he woke them by playing his violin.
The band’s sound is quirky and unusual. “It’s folk with a difference,” Emily said. “We use acoustic instruments mostly and it’s folk with a pop angle to it.”
Emily and Jesse sing and play guitar, they also write the songs for the band. The rest of the sound is provided by Alex who plays violin, ukulele and the mandolin; not your typical mix of instruments, but it somehow works.
Emily said she and Jesse grew up in a musical household, with regular family singalongs, but neither of them had aimed to become full time musicians. “It wasn’t something that was haunting us since we were kids” she said.
Emily traveled through Africa and thought she might want to work on human rights and developing projects. Her desire to work in human rights remains but she said her musical life matters.
“For me, I feel like my artistic voice comes from a personal place rather than a universal one. I would never write a political song, I feel like I’m not equipped to do that” she said.
Emily said she had a list of plans for life after school but her musical life took off and she couldn’t give up the opportunity to write her own music and travel around Australia and around the world. Including New York where she played a few concerts.
Tinpan Orange started playing together not knowing what would come of it. Two albums later, with success across Australia, the band are taking it as it comes.



Rhythms Magazine September 2009
Golden Prospects

Tinpan Orange are set to launch their shimmering new album.
No matter what your passion for rhythm is, most are usually unimpressed if woken unexpectedly from their slumber by loud music. For Emily Lubitz and brother Jesse, however, their sudden awakening at the sound of Alex Burkoy’s violin, was fate. A predestined meeting of three souls who were meant to play together. As Lubitz explains, at this moment, one muggy night at the Woodford Folk Festival, Tinpan Orange was born.
“it was a hot and balmy Queensland tropical evening at Woodford, Alex was staying in a tent, a few tents away from us. He was jamming with friends of his, who happened to be friends of ours and he was playing these beautiful violin lines – very loudly. He woke us up, but it was bitter sweet, because it was beautiful music. The next day we were introduced by our mutual friends.”
The three have been playing together now for five years, and there’s no doubt their individual skills compliment each other. The subtlety of the instrumentation, incorporating acoustic guitar, mandolin, ukulele and violin, is so restful against the soothing quality of Emily Lubitz’s voice, it’s like a lullaby. Their latest album, The Bottom of the Lake, also has the musical influence of producer and multi instrumentalist / arranger Harry Angus, touted as the “defacto fourth member” of Tinpan Orange. Lubitz describes working on this album as being like “little kids in a forrest.” What did she mean by this?
“Well, we had no supervision from any sort of expert. We didn’t have any grown ups around. It was Harry’s first producing experience and Jesse’s first engineering experience,” she muses. “We didn’t have any well trained engineers with well trained ears telling us, ‘oh no! you can’t do that! That sounds wrong.’ We just did it. If we didn’t like it, we got rid of it, and if we liked it we kept it. Every now and then we’d freak out and think ‘oh my God, we’ve done it on the wrong program,’ or ‘we forgot to press that button!’ But in the end it turned out alright.”
According to Lubitz, she and brother Jesse came from a family that loved to sing. They were from Jewish parentage. “Hippies who found religion.”
“We sing a lot as a family and a lot of it’s Hebrew songs and stuff like that. As well as the early Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, I had a mix of more obscure religious songs and pop songs from the ‘60s that my parents used to play on the record player.”

Did they have active imaginations as children?
“Yeah I think so, I was a very bust child. I always had things to do. Imaginary games and stuff like that. My dolls had epic lives. Jesse was the serious child in a way. I was very social and made friends very easily but then I also could spend hours on my own.”
Which sibling became interested in pursuing music first?
“Jesse. I always loved listening to music, but I never thought I would be a singer. Performing didn’t seem to be a natural thing for me. I was shy. Even in high school I never wanted to do anything. Then gradually, through just singing with my brother and his friends, when I was 17 or 18, I started to perform a bit. Yeah, so it was really through Jesse that I found my courage.”
Today the young vocalist and Tinpan Orange have built up an impressive fan following, including such high profile admirers as Renee Geyer. Lubitz recalls the surprise she got one night when Geyer asked her to share the stage with her in a duet.
“We supported Renee Geyer and we’d just done our gig and she was on stage doing hers. I was in the kitchen of the venue, trying to get some food and my friend runs in and says, “quickly, she wants you on stage – NOW!” I had to just run onto the stage and she asked me to do the harmony to “Heading in the Right Direction” with her. It was pretty cool.”
Is there anything about the musos life that she still doesn’t like?
“Sometimes being on the road can be wearisome. It’s this really suspended state of being, because you’re actually not in the real world. Your schedule is on the flip side of the rest of the world. We sort of go from town to town and spend the whole day traveling and a lot of the afternoons waiting for the gig and the sound check and going to the hotel. It’s also exciting when we meet nice people and go to pretty places… but waiting is a massive part of being a touring musician. You’re got to have a good book.”
The Bottom of the Lake is available through Vitamin.



The Age EG Album Review 28th Aug 2009
**** (4 stars)

"There's a weird call of the old country about Tinpan Orange - especially weird if you don't have a branch of gypsy caravans in your family tree. Such is the universal sigh in Emily Lubitz's supple voice, combined with the lulling melancholy of her brother Jesse's Spanish guitar and the many smaller strings of Alex Burkoy. Chinese Whispers is all sepia postcard destinations; Every Single Day finds the singer reminiscing about an imagined future in a previous century - as one does, when the strings and murmuring male chorus are rolling just so. Her tunes drip with old-world romance, from the opening balcony scene of Romeo Don't Come to the slow motion farewell of Saudades, which sounds like the credits rolling on a receding Portuguese trading ship. Cat Empire / Jackson Jackson wildcard Harry Angus is the Melbourne group's fourth ingredient: his subtle piano lines and arranging skills are enough to make you forget the virtual absence of drums and electricity. But it is Burkoy's exhilarating violin solo in Peppercorn Trees that illustrates the restraint that makes this music so potent."
- Michael Dwyer



Mitch Knox. Time Off 2009
Delicate, lay-in-a-field-and-cover-me-with-flowers-in-Springtime style folk/roots music seems to be the flavour du jour lately, and it’s a goldmine out there for anybody who likes that kind of thing. Tinpan Orange effortlessly bring beauty, sunshine and a flair for the unexpected to a genre that runs dangerously close to socially being the next emo (you know what that means) with their immediately likeable third album, The Bottom Of The Lake.
The album is deceptively rich instrumentally, despite it centring largely on the ‘unplugged strings’ family: acoustic guitars, ukulele, violin, and glorious mandolin. Bassist and mandolin exponent Alex Burkoy wields it creatively and impressively, calling on the Spanish Gods of Dancing and Romantic Balladry on more than one occasion (’Round And Round’ and ‘Another Town’, respectively). With the help of The Cat Empire’s Harry Angus, xylophone, harmonium, piano, and general percussion round out the album’s soundscape, overlaid with Emily Lubitz’ unrefined but beautiful vocals. Brother Jesse takes his turn at the microphone stand too (‘Fitzroy St.’, ‘Round And Round’), and is every bit his sister’s equal in honesty and effect, if not range. The songs are diverse in content and style, as well. The carefree waltz of ‘La La La’ is worlds away from the downcast ‘Saudades’, which never hints at the march-beat of ‘Lovely’; none of which sound anything like the Cat Empire-esque ‘Round And Round’.
These are all good things – although the whole scenario may sound all a bit Angus and Julia Stone, the siblings Lubitz really pull it off with charm and sweetness. The Bottom Of The Lake bears great rewards with repeat listens; it’s so nice, if it were a person, you would want to take it home to meet your parents, which is kind of weird since this album was made by siblings. You perverts.
HHHH (four stars)   


YEN MAGAZINE

With the same beautiful timbre that has seen a nation fall head over heels for Clare Bowditch and Sarah Blasko, the voice of Melbournian Emily Lubitz has the power to both soothe and to sweep one away, simultaneously. It’s very folky stuff in a similar vein as The Waifs in parts, but the mandolin adds a gypsy feel that takes you further abroad then Fitzroy Street.



THE DWARF

What’s the first thing that crosses my mind when listening to Tinpan Orange?
Well, to me, it’s Eastern- European gypsies playing in the countryside with their colourful wooden caravans sitting nicely amongst the lush green grass, nestled perfectly amongst the mid summer sunset. The Bottom of the Lake really nails it for me. An impressive collection of works is the latest release from these Melbourne gems; this is obviously a family affair with guest vocals from pretty much everyone from the family tree.
At the wheel of producing this CD is Harry Angus (among a myriad of various instruments), the colour and simplicity of the choice of instruments and vocal treatments are both tasteful and very organic; when listening to this CD for the first time, I wrote down key words which trigger my ideas…and they were: sincerity, tasteful, Earth.
The lyrics present a maturity and detail that finds you wandering off to a special place, lyrics from Romeo Don’t Come are truly heartbreaking, "I pretend to let him in, and I pretend to take his hand”. They offer an unspoken vulnerability and honesty that is seldom with this genre of music. The choice of the instrumentation is sparse, open and minimalistic, which is perfect for the lyrical themes here within. To be truthful, Emily’s voice is itself the centre point and rightly so; you could listen to this CD without any instruments and her vocals could carry these songs alone. In fact, Emily’s voice alone with a traditional Maori choir would bring down the house.
Sharing vocal duties is brother Jesse on a couple of tracks, offering a different perspective on the musical capabilities on the songs- not my cup of tea, but certainly not out of place with these songs.
There’s a maturity in Tinpan Orange which only comes from solidifying the best elements of their live performances and constant road testing of new material. Collectively, the scope of the songs paints lightness in the themes and also the tones of the instruments. Not certain if this is the band's preference or the influence of Harry Angus guiding the ship into unknown waters.
Overall, this CD does take me places; I found myself drifting on to other lands, I can sit and listen to for hours on end (and I have). I recommend you do the same….preferably not when handling any large machinery.



RHUM 2009

Think fairies with attitude and a ukulele. Once in a blue moon we are graced with an album which is the most awesome thing to hit music and this, dear fellows, is definitely one of them.
 It’s been advertised all over Melbourne city; I even heard it playing in one of my favourite cafes. In all honesty, I can say that when I hear these guys, I think of summer. They have a fresh and different sound, and it couldn’t be released at a more perfect time.
 Combining acoustic instruments with the amazing vocals of both Emily Lubitz and Jesse Lubitz, this band does everything right, down to the decision of what kind of string instrument to play for each song. They’re original, they’re easy to listen to and their lyrics rock the hard line.
 The instrumentals compliment both the vocalists, nothing is forced, the tone of the voice does not rise if the instrumentals do and vice versa. The thing that drew me to the band is the ukulele, which is a horribly underused instrument which has not only the right sound, but surely the coolest sound. I would classify Tinpan Orange as acoustic folk rock: the cool, calm and collected sound they have is both easy listening and refreshing. They’re the kind of band that won’t swear and throw chairs just because it makes them feel cool.
 They’re very laid back, which is part of their ‘image’ and I think the claim that they have won the hearts of Australian listeners is true. They’re such a unique band with such a unique sound that creates the image of sun-dried sheets and clean white linen. I highly recommend Tinpan Orange without any hesitation.



LANEWAY MAGAZINE (MELBOURNE) 2009

It’s Sunday. Mid-morning. You’re a little dusty, and it’s already warmish outside. You open up the front and back door to let some air in before you grab the paper and a coffee. An ideal complement to this kind of lazy-Sunday morn is the new offering from Tinpan Orange, The Bottom of the Lake.
 You’ll find it sitting somewhere in between Clare Bowditch and perhaps Lisa Mitchell.
 To be frank, this album was my first Tinpan Orange experience. The first listen to songstress Emily Lubitz’s voice evoked shades of Bowditch, in it purity and sweetness. So it was no surprise to read that the two, in fact, wrote their first song together when Emily was only nine years old.
But it’s not just the voice that soothes on this, their second release. More so, it’s the balanced combination of instrumentation, with carefully placed violin, mandolin, and ukulele filling out the acoustic-laden Tinpan sound. It’s clearly one of those albums that is rich without being over-produced – no doubt aided by getting Harry Angus on board as producer and instrumentalist.
 The result is textbook ‘synergy’ – the interaction and cooperation of each of these elements produces an effect greater than the sum of their parts. At times, you barely notice the violin filling the background, or the addition of the whistles; they don’t just contribute their individual sounds, but add to the creation of what I clearly hear as the Tinpan Orange sound.
 And, the more I listen to The Bottom of the Lake, their third LP, the more this sound in growing on me.
 This has the romance of opener Romeo Don’t Come, and Lovely, but it never gets too sickly sweet. Things get a little melancholy with the title track, The Bottom of the Lake and closer Saudades, but it never gets too down and depressing. There’s longing, there’s homesickness, and a couple of tracks - Round and Round and Fitzroy Street - that are written and performed by guitarist Jesse Lubitz.
 In fact, there’s really nothing too offensive in this album, nothing too distracting. You know what you’re going to get, which is at times mostly nice. It also means there’s no one highlight, nothing really blowing your hair back – just well-written tracks, the cruisey Tinpan instrumentation, and that melting Lubitz voice – consistently keeping the album heading in the same direction.
 So if you’ve got a spare lazy Sunday, ease into it with a bit of Tinpan Orange’s The Bottom of the Lake. That should set you up very nicely.




THE PLACE (TOWNSVILLE & CAIRNS) 2009

Tinpan Orange step outside the box with their latest album “The Bottom Of The Lake”, creating an album complete with violin, ukulele and mandolin. Lead singer Emily Lubitz has a voice reminiscent of many other female indie singers, husky yet feminine, however it's this band’s ability to provide the whole package that sets them above the rest. From inspired lyrics to passionately instrumentals, this gypsy-influenced acoustic album is very relaxing and mellow, while maintaining intensity. The album provides a generous 12 track listing of gentle listening which will be appreciated by anyone with a love of folk/indie music



Graeme Hammond, Herald Sun Oct 2009

Don’t expect and rock god posturing from this Melbourne trio: if their shy but charming lunchtime gig in the city last month was any indication, they take the stage with simple motives: to share the music flowing through their veins and reach out to their audiences with utter sincerity and warmth.
The focus will always be on flame-haired singer / guitarist Emily Lubitz, but brother Jesse, a guitarist and occasional singer, and the even more retiring bass, mandolin and violin player Alex Burkoy add depth to a band that touches bases with the Audreys, Sandy Denny and, weirdly, Frente.
Emily Lubitz has a gorgeous and sensuous voice that is just as comfortable with lush pop tracks (Lovely, Every Single Day) as it is with lilting waltzes (La La La, Chinese Whispers) and ballads such as the closing song, Saudades.
This is a class act, refined with constant international touring and primed for targets close to the heart.


Sunday 11th October

**** (4 stars)





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