As with previous albums, Coates blends together an amalgamation of sounds that seem to be diametrically opposite. Lo-fi sounds mixed with hi-fi. Spoken words under instrumentation. Tinny horns tooting under electronic beats. French pop with electro-jazz. Snippets of old radio sounds mixed with very modern music. And somehow, all of these various parts are pieced together to produce a completely satisfying album that holds an element of kitschiness while maintaining an air of real art.
The album's title is a play on The Tibetan Book of the Dead, a book about when one's soul passes from one life on to being reborn into the next. Coates says, "I thought it would be funny if there were a book like that for the English. The album felt like that to me – a way of moving from one state to another, and all set against the backdrop of this city."
The first track below, It's a Wonderful Li(f)e, reminds me of a darkly comic parody of Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World. I Believe, the next track, also drips with morose humor and irony. The album is out now, so listen and enjoy Coates' dark humor and realize that life isn't so bad after all.
The Real Tuesday Weld - It's a Wonderful Li(f)e : The London Book of the Dead
The Real Tuesday Weld - I Believe : The London Book of the Dead
And one from his first full length release:
The Real Tuesday Weld - Terminally Ambivalent Over You : Where Psyche Meets Cupid
Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful World : My Favorite Things
Yungchen Lhamo - Om Mani Padme Hung : Tibetan Freedom Concert (Disc 1)
Tenzing Tsewang - Banzaguru - Heartbeat Of Tibet : Mantra Mix (Disc 2)