“St. Lenox is Andy Choi, a New York lawyer and Juilliard-trained concert violinist whose extremely distinct music is equal parts jarring and charming. Choi’s voice is one of the most striking instruments in music today…His subject matter is equally transfixing and unique” – Stereogum
St. Lenox’s sophomore album Ten Hymns From My American Gothic is a sprawling, densely layered, stream-of-consciousness portrait of modern American life, presented as a gift to the writer’s father who immigrated to the United States, in honor of his 70th birthday. Written, performed and recorded by Andrew Choi in off hours, while he works as an attorney in Manhattan, the album meditates on progressivist themes, immigration, cultural divide, forgiveness and manifest destiny.
His new project further bolsters the fact that Choi is a contemporaneously rarified musician who can create a stylistic framework immediately identifiable (as St. Lenox in this case) but be able to helm it with such skill and inspiration that it is highly unlikely he’ll ever make the same album twice or even repeat himself in any capacity (unless doing so as a calculated artistic device).
“This year is my father’s 70th birthday and I wanted to illustrate my American experience as a second generation Korean-American. That’s the first half of the album, which I call ‘Domestic and Regional Politics’. On the second half of the album, which I call ‘International Relations’, the songs actually address my parents and are based on my relationship with them,” says Choi.
The first track to be released from the new album, “Thurgood Marshall”, is a song that offers up Choi’s personal hero and beacon of aspiration he chose while enduring what law school and practicing the law itself does to one’s psyche. “That song is about my optimism, idealism and hope about the law. The experience of law school can be soul crushing and it’s good to have a hero and something that offsets the regular thoughts of ‘Am I still a good person?’”. The video, which Choi directed under his “Elliot Lyman” pseudonym, features a first-person walk through the New York University Law Library while an ever-increasing number of Choi’s stories and thoughts about law school flash across the screen.
Ten Hymns from My American Gothic is being released this fall by stalwart independent label Anyway Records (Connections, Moviola). It is the type of personal, thinking person’s pop album built from layered repetition and with authentic, melodic construction made up of timeless hooks rather than just melody itself, and of course, lyrics that will resonate with a wide scope of listener demographics.
Ten Hymns From My American Gothic
[Anyway] Pre-order: iTunes
Release Date: Oct. 21, 2016
01 “Fuel America”
02 “Thurgood Marshall”
03 “The Public School System”
05 “Conspiracy Theories”
06 “You Don’t Call Me Anymore”
08 “People From Other Cultures”
09 “What I Think About When You Say South Korea”
10 “When I Return”
ST. LENOX LINKS: