Tinpan Orange Turn It On Again
After a two year hiatus legends of indie-folk Tinpan Orange are back with ‘Turn It On Again’ and TCI spoke with vocalist Emily Lubitz following the release.
After more than a decade in the music industry, and with five studio albums and several world tours under their belt, Tinpan Orange are forging ahead, despite the global pandemic, and delighting their fans with a new single and the promise of more music to come.
The Creative Issue: Tinpan Orange had a little break over the last couple of years. We’re very glad to see you back with new music. How different has planning this release been, during the pandemic, as compared with your previous work?
Emily Lupitz: In some ways it has been easier and some ways more challenging. All the face-to-face stuff has been taken away; live shows, going into radio stations, photo and film clip shoots. But somehow we have managed to connect with our audience in other ways. It’s been exciting when it works and triumphant to overcome what seemed like a very disempowered place at the beginning of this lockdown world.
TCI: You’ve mentioned that the title ‘Turn It On Again’ represents the idea of turning off and rebooting ourselves, drawing a reference with the “power off/on” way we deal with issues in technology. Can you tell us a little more about what this song means to you?
EL: I first wrote it as an ode to my favourite and only way to fix technology; turning it off and turning it on again and hoping it works. I saw it as a metaphor for many things, relationships included. The power of shutting down for a bit in order to come back with a new perspective and sense of vitality. Now, in this Covid world, it feels like a prayer. I hope when we turn the world back on again, it works.
TCI: We understand ‘Turn It On Again’ is the first taste of a new EP from Tinpan Orange. What prompted the decision to record an EP this time rather than another full length release?
EL: Having already released five albums we wanted to take a bit of pressure off. We wanted to just throw some singles into the world, start touring and eventually have an EP to share. I still love full length albums and I still believe in them as an artistic form that a lot of people are still up for engaging with, but it suited us to go smaller this time.
TCI: How does a typical Tinpan Orange song get written, and has your approach to songwriting changed since your first album?
EL: Usually Jesse, Harry or I write most of the song and then when we take it to the band it always changes a bit, impacted by everyone’s ideas. Over the years we have co-written a bunch of songs too.
TCI: Who are the artists/bands you have been most inspired by lately?
EL: Nina Simone, Karen Dalton, Jess Ribeiro, Mo’ju, Billie Holiday.
TCI: You accomplished so much as a band. You’ve released five successful albums and toured the world extensively, not to mention playing a whole string of iconic Australian festivals. What have been some of the highlights for you so far?
EL: So many!!! We still love touring together. I love hanging out with my band. We laugh a lot. I love meeting people who have carried my songs with them in some way into their lives. I have loved taking my children on the road with us. I love the hospitality we’ve been shown travelling the world. I am just very grateful that I’ve been able to maintain a career in this industry that is sometimes very difficult, but also very rewarding.
TCI: Your tour plans for 2020 have obviously been affected by the pandemic, but is it possible we will see a tour announcement once we regain a little bit of normality?
EL: Yes! As soon as we can we will be back in theatres and venues and festivals, sweating under lights, singing our hearts out to real people, hanging out with their friends in the flesh. And we’ll hopefully be hearing real applause. We very much look forward to it.