Dreams is the second of the final trilogy of albums by The Real Tuesday Weld following last year's noir-themed Blood. We ran a track-by-track for that one too. We got back to Stephen to run us through the new one. Some time in the future we’ll complete the hat-trick. Take it away Mr Coates...
This collection references late sixties songwriting a la Lee Hazlewood, Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach with nods to Flaming Lips and Tin Pan Alley all mixed up with hazy lo-fi electronica, ghostly atmospherics and cinematic instrumentals. Guest vocalists A Girl Called Eddy, Sephine Llo and Oriana Curls provide a counterpoint to main man Stephen Coates' Gainsbourg-like crooning.
Continuing the band's long preoccupation with dreams, the songs were written in the early morning or late evening on 'either side' of sleep: ‘I’d rise super early and go straight to it with the sense of the night’s imaginings still heavy on me – or work in that strange space-time of the small hours’. The ten track album is sequenced in an approximation of a life, from youth to age, with the band’s perennial focus on London, love, the English landscape and time passing. Early copies can be accompanied by an eleven track bonus cassette album Late Flowering Reveries.
THE YOUNG ONES
I like that line from Peter Handke’s poem ‘The Song of Childhood’ the narrator quotes in Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire:
‘When the child was a child,
it awoke once in a strange bed,
and now does so again and again’
Every morning starts with that “Where am I? Who am I? Oh, yeah” feeling like the guy in Memento. When you’re a kid, the whole world is like that.
Always been a massive Nancy Sinatra fan. Still love ‘These Boots Were Made for Walking’ and really dig what she did with Lee Hazlewood. I wanted to cover this but it sounded a bit creepy (in the wrong way) with me singing so this is lovely Sephine Llo on vocals.
BONE DREAMS BLOODOur Swan Song Trilogy of albums is called Bone Dreams Blood and this song is at the heart of it for me. A kind of celebration / commemoration of friends loved and lost in London: a cross-dresser, a couple of junkies, a crazy kid, an old rocker, assorted lost souls, a family guy – through overdose, accident, strange illness, one who mysteriously disappeared and some who just grew up and moved away. It’s set in Brompton Cemetery, one of the city’s ‘magnificent seven’ great gardens of sleep -and a real field of dreams.
I AWOKE AND FOUND I WAS DREAMING
You used to be a night owl, prowling the city streets, high on booze and desperation. Stumbling home by the dawn’s early light, taking the lift to the 19th floor collapsing on the sofa, before pulling yourself together and starting work. Now you get up before dawn, take on the day with coffee and pen.
Do you like train journeys? I don't mean the breathy squeeze of the suburban commuter lines or the forced intimacy of urban crush on the underground, but those long intercity trips – crossing the States on an Amtrak, inter- railing through old Europe? I am lucky enough to split my time between central London and Northern Scotland. This came out of drifting into sleep on the journey north whilst the English landscape flickered by.
There has always been part of me that wanted to be a girl which is why I love working with female singers. Erin Moran / A Girl called Eddy has made only two album and one EP in twenty years and they are absolutely exquisite. She transformed this tune almost into a Bacharach number. It started from the image of someone looking into a hall mirror with a suitcase packed and waiting at the door. Who was she and who was she leaving?
‘All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players’ That is never truer than in a relationship – tragedy or farce. Two drama queens trying to upstage each other.
COMME DANS UN REVE
There is an English version ‘When You Showed Up’ of this song on the bonus album ‘Late Flowering Reveries’. The singer for both is my friend Oriana Curls - who generously allowed me to live out my Serge Gainsbourg / Jane Birkin fantasies.
BODHISATTVA OF THE GULAG
I’ve spent a lot of time in Russia over the last years and I am fascinated by the Soviet Union. That started to seep into my dreams. One in particular was about a kid talking to me through the television.
"And because I love this life I know I shall love death as well" said Rabindranath Tagore. I hope that will be the case but I’m probably going to be a gibbering wreck!
Dylan Thomas: ‘Do not go gentle into that good night… rage, rage against the dying of the light!’
The Real Tuesday Weld – Dreams available here
Main image on this page by Paul Heartfield