On September 17, longtime MAGNET fave—and fellow Philadelphian—Wesley Stace returns with Late Style (Omnivore). If you’ve paid any attention to the British native’s career over the past 33 years, you know that you should expect the unexpected when it comes to the artist formerly known as John Wesley Harding.
While he hasn’t yet, as far as we know, been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a pawn and a king, Stace has been a rock ‘n’ roll poet, a novelist, an opera writer, a professor and a critic. And let’s not forget Cabinet Of Wonders, his acclaimed variety show that’s featured a who’s-who of musicians, writers, comedians and more.
So when we got word that Stace had a new album in the pipeline, we weren’t surprised that now he was doing something completely different. Stace collaborated on Late Style with David Nagler, his Cabinet Of Wonders musical director. For the dozen-track album, Stace sent lyrics—and musical touchstones (for starters: some pop, some jazz, a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll)—to the New York-based Nagler, which Nagler then wrote the music for. Along for the virtual, cross-country recording ride were longtime collaborator Chris von Sneidern and drummer Prairie Prince (Tubes, Todd Rundgren) in San Francisco; vocalists Kelly Hogan and Nora O’Connor (both Flat Five, Decemberists, Neko Case) in Chicago; and percussionist Mauro Refosco (David Byrne, Atoms For Peace) in an undisclosed location. The result is soulful listening that’s easy and challenging and—gasp!—mature.
“As we emerge blinking into the light from a time of scruffy Zoom concerts, the world requires a little beauty and finesse,” says Stace. “So I wanted Late Style to be as elegant as possible.”
One of the LP’s standouts is “All The Yous,” which we’re happy to bring you today for your listening pleasure. It’s a gorgeous, romantic track with Latin flourishes and the always-wonderful singing of Hogan and O’Connor. Lyrically, it sends a message that what the world really needs now—more than ever—is love.
Says Stace, “I was apparently so happy with one of the lines (‘I’m under your analysis/Cos you’re the cure and you’re the sickness’) that it does double duty in my opera Dido’s Ghost (composed by Errollyn Wallen, for which Stace wrote the libretto), when Anna calls Aeneas ‘her lover, her murderer/Her sickness, her cure.’ Love is both the sickness and the cure, the problem and the solution. But all we need is love. And I love all the yous: not just the parts I understand or that are nice to me—everything.”
We’re proud to premiere “All The Yous” today at MAGNET. Check it out right here, right now. And check out the full Late Style tracklist and pre-ordering info below.
Late Style (pre-order here; limited-edition vinyl here)
1) “Where The Band Are”
2) “Everything All The Time”
3) “Your Bright Future”
4) “Hey! Director”
5) “Come Back Yesterday”
6) “All The Yous”
7) “The California Fix”
8) “Well Done Everyone”
9) “The Impossible She”
10) “Do Nothing If You Can”
11. “Just Sayin’”
12. “How You All Work Me”