Indie folk darlings Tin Pan Orange make their way to Bellingen to perform for Bello Winter Music.
They were there the first year and frontwoman Emily Lubitz is keen to return.
We’re in a crowded cafe in Mullumbimby eating breakfast and drinking coffee. Although it’s probably lunchtime. It’s pouring with rain. Her small son has Lubitz’s quiet charm, and is trying to manage his juice with the environmentally sound but hopeless cardboard straw. His patience is commendable. My kids would have chucked a wobbly by now
‘It’s a very pretty town,’ says Emily of Bellingen. ‘I love how the festival uses the town. It’s not a big tent in a field. It’s about using real venues. Places with history.
I love using these venues that were rooms originally built for music.’
As a mother of two small children and with a musician partner (Cat Empire’s Harry Angus), Lubitz has become the master of juggling her creative time.
‘I used to think being creative was about having this esoteric moment. Like it would just descend upon me. But now my creative moments come when I need them. When the kids are asleep. I actually find that way of working really exciting. It’s more empowering for me as an artist because I’m not at the whim of the muse. The muse comes when you work. Great songwriters such as Leonard Cohen say that. Now I know what they mean.’
Lubitz and her partner Angus have moved their small family to the region to see if their busy careers can be managed from afar. ‘We are just doing life as usual. We have always worked sporadically anyway with Tin Pan Orange. We play, we tour, we record. We have learnt to be much more efficient. It’s been like that now for six years!’
Their fifth album Love is a Dog was recently lauded by Rolling Stone magazine as ‘a strikingly assured album’. As it is. This complex offering of string, guitar hooks and almost ethereal vocal melodies dictates the dark, rambling nature of record.
Having shared the stage with Martha Wainright, The Cat Empire, The Waifs, Jen Cloher and Husky, as well as playing some of the world’s biggest music festivals nationally and abroad including WOMAD, Laneway, Calgary Folk and Winnipeg Folk festivals, Tinpan Orange’s music has grown them a fanbase that stretches across the globe.
Tinpan Orange play the Friday night at Bello Winter Music Festival (6–9 July). Tickets and camping information are available now at bellowintermusic.com.