Agent: Mike Leahy
Formerly known by his stage name John Wesley Harding, under which he has performed and recorded for the past 25 years, Stace chose to step out from behind his well-established pseudonym for Self-Titled in honor of the increasingly personal nature of his new material. “Novels seem to take care of the intellectual business for me these days, and my songs have become a lot more intimate and autobiographical, requiring a different musical treatment entirely. It seemed ridiculous to sing them under any name but my own,” notes Stace, adding, “It’s time to bring everything under one roof.”
Stace co-wrote two of the tracks from Self-Titled—“Stare at the Sun” and “When I Knew”— with the Fiery Furnaces’ Eleanor Friedberger. Both songs appear in alternate versions on Friedberger’s critically acclaimed new album Personal Record, which was entirely co-written by Stace. Of Personal Record, SPIN hails the pair’s “easy collaboration” while NPR Music notes that Harding “knows a little something about smart love songs of every stripe.” Stace’s version of “Stare at the Sun” is streaming at The New York Times (http://nyti.ms/18EnwGx) while his version of “When I Knew” can be streamed at The Wall Street Journal (http://on.wsj.com/104VFMZ).
Along with its live incarnation which Stace will host both in NYC and on the road, Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders is distributed exclusively by NPR. NPR’s “Cabinet of Wonders” is recorded live at NYC’s City Winery and airs in six one-hour episodes.
Stace also recently contributed a pair of co-writes to Tanya Donelly’s latest EP, Swan Song Series Vol. 1, on which she performs with Stace and his band, the English U.K. Additional information is available at http://www.tanyadonelly.com.
In addition to his storied recording career, Stace is also the author of three novels (including the international bestseller Misfortune), teaches a course called “How to Write a Song” at Princeton University with poet Paul Muldoon and is artist-in-residence at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where he has also taught creative writing. He and his work have recently been the subject of a course at Central Connecticut State University titled “The Allusive John Wesley Harding.” Stace’s contributions to The New York Times’ Measure For Measure blog can be seen at http://nyti.ms/11zz0UY. His most recent novel, Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer, was published to rave reviews from The New Yorker, The New York Times and the Huffington Post, among many others. The Los Angeles Times hailed the book as “carefully plotted and brilliantly executed,” while The Wall Street Journal called it “dazzling.” His fourth novel, Wonderkid, is due in March, 2014 from Overlook Press.
Since his critically acclaimed 1988 debut It Happened One Night John Wesley Harding has recorded 19 records for both major (Sire, Hollywood) and independent (Mammoth, Rhino, Appleseed, Yep Roc) labels alike.