About the artist
Stephan Nance was born in Eugene, Oregon, but raised outside any municipality, in the unincorporated area of Santa Clara. Like his childhood home, Stephan’s songwriting resists annexation; he specializes in poetic piano rock. His is not the voice of the majority, nor the voice of a generation... but it is a voice worth listening to.
Stephan began uploading performances of his original songs on Youtube in 2008, with the sobriety anthem “Song for Losers” amassing over 100,000 views. He soon moved beyond the video-sharing site and released two EPs, Tricky to See (2008) and A Piece of the Piece (2011). In 2012, he released his partly Kickstarter-funded debut studio album, A Troubled Piece of Fruit (2012). To celebrate, he played a free outdoor bike-powered show sponsored by Pedal Power Music and City of Eugene Transportation Planning, with complimentary vegan Coconut Bliss ice cream for all.
The trilingual epic “Japanese Garden / Jardin japonais / Yaponskii sad” was nominated for Best Alternative Song in the 8th Annual OUTmusic Awards. The striking artwork for A Troubled Piece of Fruit, by Rebecca DeMoss, was nominated for for Best CD Cover Artwork.
The end of 2012 also saw the release of Stephan’s holiday track “Song for Santa (Jingle Your Own Damn Bells!),” an infectious 6-minute romp through snowy fields of intersectional feminism and queer theory, anti-speciesism and fair labor practices.
Stephan’s “Song for Losers” was nominated for Best Song So Far in the 2013 RightOutTV Music & Video Awards.
A planned 2013 bicycle tour was derailed by a bike crash resulting in a broken wrist and cracked ribs. This and other setbacks led to a quiet period in Stephan’s career.
In 2016, Stephan returned to YouTube with new material, uploading bedroom performances of 18 new original songs in an 8-month period. These new songs explore a wide range of topics, from sexual assault to the environmental racism of the Dakota Access Pipeline project, and reference more than 30 species of birds.
Stephan is currently working on his second and third albums.
Nance's songs are an avenue to express things that bother him, and that subject seems to have hit a nerve… [He’s] a thoughtful, complicated person, and his piano-based songs reflect this.
Stephan Nance is an extremely unique breath of fresh air… One of Oregon’s greatest kept secrets, [he] blends the perfect element of charming pianos and a voice that can truly stand on it’s own. Stephan could very well be the lovechild of Jukebox the Ghost and The Decemberists, which is truly a compliment.
His voice is not the voice of a generation or the majority, but his upbeat, quirky piano pop deals in fun, the environment and optimism.
Reminiscent of the early days of Ben Folds, this young American songwriter has garnered a lot of attention with his quirky, upbeat piano ballads… Highly recommended.
There is more than just the red hair in common with the likes of Kate Nash, Regina Spektor, and Lenka. These tracks, consistent with Stephan’s sound, contain large amounts of genuine wonderings on top of layers of upbeat melancholy and optimism. Oh, and much enjoyed quirky energy.
The Oregon native totally accepts his awkwardness and turns it into a very captivating trait. Maybe it is just the piano but I do get hints of Ben Fold’s when I listen to Stephan. He is not afraid to make fun of himself or make corny jokes to amuse the listener… Stephan Nance has a hit album on his hands in ‘A Troubled Piece Of Fruit.’
[Stephan’s] music style reminds me of They Might Be Giants without the inevitable overproduced polish of a hoity-toity studio.