"Originally inspired by a dream of British 1930s crooner Al Bowlly and American actress Tuesday Weld, Stephen Coates began to create music to try to recreate the sounds he heard in his childhood home – ‘the crackling of radios playing swing and easy listening in some distant room.’ As The Real Tuesday Weld, Coates doesn’t hesitate to put those sounds to subversive use much like some of his most illustrious forebears and influences—such as Serge Gainsbourg and Ennio Morricone."
Take, for example, the songs of Stephen Coates, who records under the cinematic name The Real Tuesday Weld. Coates' work features snatches of dialogue, intrusions of sound effects and at least the hint of a plot... "When I write, I need a narrative to work with," he says, "pop songs about romantic love may be great but you exhaust that at some point and want to look for something more."
“Return revisits a baker's dozen of tracks from the Weld's 2001 debut, Where Psyche Meets Cupid, albeit with fresh recordings and a smattering of, ahem, real new material. Also recurring is Coates' self-described "antique beat" style, which in itself mingles the long-ago with the recent: Twenties and '30s music-hall and Tin Pan Alley (via "When I'm Sixty-Four", Village Green-preserving Kinks, or tourmate/fan Stephin Merritt of Magnetic Fields) with copious sampling and light, pastoral electronics of the Saint Etienne school.
With I, Lucifer, Coates, under nom-de-chanson (The Real) Tuesday Weld, draws the listener deep into a scratchy, sepia-toned fantasy that first suggests the gap between boozy, swinging ragtime, sophisticated lounge poetics, and innovative beat technique, then bridges it in one swooning swoop.
”In a quixotic attempt to recapture the wafting and ephemeral quality of the prohibition-day records he was exposed to in his youth, Coates has tacked big band samples onto electronic beats and backgrounds, laying down breathy vocals and glib lyrics over the hybrid. And in the end, Where Psyche Meets Cupid is a 15-track concept album of stuff that, surprisingly, doesn't suck.”