Editor's Note: We received two different copies of this release -- one from US-based Kindercore, the other from UK-based Dreamy. This review covers both.
Who knows Where Psyche Meets Cupid? It seems certain
that the meeting time must be Valentine's Day, and that Stephen Coates (aka The
Real Tuesday Weld) has issued his lettre d'amour to the adoring public
with this album. Every song is invested with a burbly and cheerful yet
clever sense of humour that could lift even the surliest misanthrope
into the same zephyr that carried Psyche away up the mountain.
Where Psyche Meets Cupid is a concept album, in that all the
songs are love songs, but not sappy ones; they explore the odder
feelings of love, where the soul has to seek out its reasons for
loving so that the two (cupid and psyche) can meet. Coates sings every
song in a husky whisper that generally seems tinged by amusement, as
though he's relating a meaningful joke to a close friend. If his voice
quality isn't exactly remarkable, it's definitely memorable. He
explores the eternal connection between sex and death ("L'Amour et la
Morte" from his EP, and "Daisies"); "someday, my dear", he croons to
his lover, "you'll be pushing up daisies too". "Terminally Ambivalent
Over You" makes a joke out of the infamous male inability to commit;
it might piss off Oprah, but it had me rolling on the carpet, laughing.
"At the House of the Clerkenwell Kid" is entirely instrumental, but
sounds like part of the soundtrack to a Buster Keaton movie, complete
with the crackles and pops of an ancient turntable. You can almost see the pratfalls being
committed, so descriptive is the music. Every track, in fact, is loaded
with feedback and the tinny sound of a victrola player. The piano is
thin and creaky, like an old upright box piano, and bubbly sounds are
provided by regular and organ-style synth.
Where Psyche Meets Cupid develops the themes Coates laid out
and explored in his EP L'Amour et la Morte, but the
stories here are longer and the punchlines are pithier -- or
at least as pithy. At a time in our current events when most people
need a laugh more than ever, (The Real) Tuesday Weld steps up and
provides it. No wonder the Dobie Gillis people are worried about
copyright -- once you've listened to The Real Tuesday Weld, you're likely to
forget the fake. Unlike Dobie, Coates doesn't need a laugh track --
he earns the chuckles of his audience.