Emily Lubitz
Emily Lubitz | Credit: Ryan Downey

Love Letter to a Record: Emily Lubitz on the Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’

Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, Emily Lubitz sings the praises of The Beach Boys’ era-defining Pet Sounds (1966). 

Emily Lubitz released her debut solo EP, Begin Again, on Friday, 4th November. Lubitz spent the past decade as a member of the Melbourne-based indie folk band Tinpan Orange. On her first collection of solo material, Lubitz worked with her husband, multi-instrumentalist Harry James Angus (ex-The Cat Empire), drummer Freyja Hooper and guitarist and backing vocalist Angie Hudson.

Emily Lubitz’s Love Letter to Pet Sounds

Emily Lubitz: Dear Pet Sounds,

I loved you first. Well, maybe not first, but I loved you before we all wanted to make records like you. I loved you when I was six and my parents had packed up my three siblings and me and taken us on a road trip down the west coast of America in a blue VW van.

‘Sloop John B’ is dancing around a family friend’s house singing into a hairbrush. ‘Don’t Talk’ is falling asleep on my sister’s shoulder while we cover seemingly never-ending distance. ‘God Only Knows’ is me imagining which vocal part I’d sing in the middle section and outro, eyes closed, lost in the repetition.

I must confess, my first sex dream was Beach Boys themed too. Well, more like kissing dream, because I would have been too young for a wet dream. It was me and a Beach Boy – not sure which one – kissing on the sand, rolling towards a huge dark hole. I have a feeling the soundtrack was ‘Kokomo’ though. Maybe one day I’ll analyse that.

But I digress. Pet Sounds, my darling, I loved you then and I love now. You are nostalgic without being sentimental. You are a warm sunbeam stretching across a bowl of oranges sitting on my kitchen table. Brian Wilson arranged you like a perfect tapestry, full of life and sadness and soft voices and strange sounds and those tambourines – he could have started a cult with those tambourines. Your arrangements are whimsical and clever and shockingly creative.

We all wanted to make records like you. But nobody ever will. You will forever be a moment in time. Unmatched, beautiful, full of memories and reverbs to die for.

  • With Love,
  • Your Emily

Emily Lubitz – ‘Begin Again’

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