Press Quotes

PRESS QUOTES:

  • PopMatters (9 out of 10 stars): “Albums of such sheer artistry, originality and thematic immediacy are few and far between.  This is the album of perspective and hope we need in this time of political and social unrest … It takes a distinctly singular voice to create something that stands apart from the ever increasing white noise overwhelming the internet in the wake of the great democratization of recording … Ten Hymns From My American Gothic is nothing short of a 21st century pop masterpiece.”
  • Allmusic (Editor’s Pick):  “St. Lenox is the musical vehicle of Andrew Choi, a New York-based Korean-American from the Midwest whose gutsy indie pop chronicles the modern American experience in a dazzling litany of soulful free verse … an unlikely indie powerhouse who melds glossy electronic textures with richly chorded piano pop delivered in an intensely soul-bearing tenor that falls somewhere between Cee Lo Green and John Darnielle. With Ten Hymns, Choi expands on his broad vision exploring themes of immigration, American culture, and history, painting vividly from his own personal and family experiences. At times beautiful, difficult, and brash, this is true 21st century songwriting.”
  • Best Albums of 2016: nods from PopMatters, Columbus Alive, Jersey Beat.
  • Salon: One of the most criminally underrated albums of 2016.
  • Stereogum, for “Thurgood Marshall” – “Choi’s voice is one of the most striking instruments in music today, a harsh and commanding howl that reminds me of John Darnielle, Michael Stipe, and Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart but is something entirely its own. His subject matter is equally transfixing and unique, a mix of queer love songs, protest music, and savvy observations about the modern American experience.”
  • Noisey/VICE, for “The Greyhound Bus Song”- “I burst into tears—big, ugly, inescapable, unbidden tears that felt like they had been stored up for ages. St. Lenox’s music has that effect … you play it and stumble into revelations, hit nerves that you may not have been ready to hit.  That’s not to say it’s sad and dark and horrible. It’s just more or less like life itself, which is uncertain and plodding and often finds moments of humor emerging right alongside moments of sadness.”
  • Noisey/VICE, for “Bitter Pill” – “Man, with this song, there’s just something so bizarrely poignant about the way it makes you feel.  Off his debut record Ten Songs About Memory and Hope, “Bitter Pill” feels like a piece of writing or a poem, beautifully illustrating that choke in your throat you get when you’re reminded of the past and the way things used to be. The song’s lyricism following in the trajectory of other great story tellers in music, kind of reminding me of a blend of Rufus Wainwright and the Mountain Goats.”
  • NPR – Songs We Love, for “Just Friends” – “It’s hard to believe that Andy Choi, the gigantic voice behind St. Lenox, was an award-winning teenage violinist. That was back in the mid-’90s, a time the New York songwriter romanticizes to charming effect throughout his debut album, Ten Songs About Memory And Hope … He belts out his regrets with uncanny melisma, like John Darnielle channeling Tony Clifton. As odd as it sounds, it’s a genuinely affecting affect.”
  • CMJ, for “Bitter Pill” – “a mournful laptop/singing act that features odd but slowly ingratiating melodies and time signatures, not to mention Choi’s tear-stained, journal-like lyrics that spill out and around the songs.  Live, it can be arrestingly intense or just curious, depending on your ability to let love in, as Nick Cave might say.  And actually, there’s a darkness to St. Lenox that probably means he has a few Cave CDs on his shelves.”
  • The Big Takeover – “Let it be known to the uninitiated Mr. Choi possesses a powerful, and frankly enviable croon … a la Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainwright. Vocal intonations aside, Ten Songs could survive on its own in the hands of virtually any mouthpiece utilizing Choi’s ornate, slice-of-life by way of stream-of-consciousness narratives. … Too complex to be cast off a as a mere pop album.”
  • Dusted Magazine – “The foremost thing here is the voice. It’s fluent, yanking melodies out of lines overstuffed with words… How did Andy Choi develop this helium-dosed soar, somewhere between honest tabernacle rafter-shaking and a jumbo mumble? … confessions include Mountain Goatsesque fictions … detailed memories with slightly sci-fi skews of the present … But he belts them with an utter lack of guile … You want to hang out with the guy. You want to hear him talk.”
  • MournJargon – “This is great. John Darnielle linked to the That Old Time Religion single on Bandcamp, so, devotee that I am, I checked it out. And oh boy! Happily, the whole album is available on Spotify.  It’s catchy, the lyrics reward attention, it’s nostalgic and spilling over with energy at the same time. This is what I want pop music to be like.”
  • Jersey Beat – The Silver Lining – “Choi belts out the vocals with a power and intensity that reaches right through you and grabs your inner being. It’s a huge, throaty, tenor blast that jets over electronic instrumentals that are, contrastingly, light and lithe. The lyrics seem autobiographical, focused on remembrances of youth, so much that the songs seem less like songs and more like a musical conversation about times gone by … There are several really strong tracks here, and I’ll start out by giving a shout-out to what has to become a “standard,” if there’s any justice in the musical world, “You’re Not Here.” It has that quiet jazz ballad feel, with just Choi’s gigantic presence and electric piano. “I Still Dream Of The ‘90s” is the album’s opener, and the one that grabbed me right off, with Choi’s glorious vocals and the glimmering electronics. “To Be Young Again,” with its slice of life as a teenager in the Midwest 20 years ago, and cool editing techniques with the electronics makes this a standout, and maybe my favorite of the album … This one gets my highest recommendation, and will certainly be atop my end of the year list.”
  • Music For Robots – “Now, I definitely could be listening to a lot more music than I have been, but the simple truth is that I haven’t heard anything as great as St. Lenox in a long, long time. St. Lenox–whose alter ego is award-winning violinist Andy Choi–has put out a record that I cannot stop listening to. The fact that it’s a debut makes it all the more impressive … Choi sounds like some kind of Rufus Wainwright-Adele love child, and his larger-than-life vocals are the perfect foil for his songs’ minimal arrangements. And those songs–hoo boy. John Darnielle said it best: “feeling really evangelical about just how good a lyricist Andy Choi is. real vision and feeling.
  • Pittsburgh In Tune – “It won’t take you long to fall in love with the phenomenal 10 Songs About Memory and Hope, the debut album from St. Lenox. Ridiculously catchy opener “I Still Dream of the ‘90s” is a tour de force for Choi’s unique vocals and killer songwriting.  If you like the tune — and I can’t for the life of me figure out why you wouldn’t — you’re gonna LOVE the rest … almost everything on the 10-track, 34-minute release works and leaves me eager to here more from the New York-based Choi … I can think of nothing to complain about with the first half of “10 Songs.” The aforementioned “I Still Dream of the ‘90s” is great, as are “Pop Song 2012,” “Just Friends,” “To Be Young Again” and ballad “Map of the World.” The second half of the record is almost as good, with St. Lenox soaring on “You’re Not Here,” “Bitter Pill” and “It’s Better Than That.” Highly recommended.
  • Moxipop – “So, I log onto Twitter and find John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats giving big-ups to this guy St. Lenox, calling him “a lyricist of the highest order.” This is a big deal … It turns out St. Lenox … deserves to be talked about. Not just for his evocative, powerfully nostalgic writing, but his fiery sword of a voice. He sings with a trembling vigor that may be vibrating in from other dimensions …”
  • Music. Defined. – “St. Lenox toes a fine line through the whole endeavour, mixing loops and beats with … a storytelling style reminiscent of a young Billy Joel. It’s experimental pop with a sound both familiar and impossible to place. I could rattle off ten names that I’m reminded of while listening (Sting, Cee-Lo, David Gray, Lionel Richie, etc.) … I dig it. A lot. And I hope for a lot of people St. Lenox will be their first great musical discovery of 2015.”
  • CityBeat Magazine – “… as I walked by Below Zero Lounge, I heard a voice too great not to stop.  If Ryan Adams and Adam Levine and the bearded lead singer from Maps & Atlases had an Asian baby, it would be St. Lenox. He was just plain awesome. I wanted to hang out with him, I wanted him to sing an album of lullabies.” – Leyla Shokoohe 
  • CityBeat Magazine – “Choi’s elastic vocals … sound like a quirkier version of Cee Lo Green’s … Soul Coughing caught in a colorful computer game, with ‘Make even stranger pop’ their only directive to finding their way out.” – Mike Breen – Music Editor
  • 32ftpersecond (on Hypemachine) – “St. lenox … sprays soulful vocals about a failed relationship over one of those 1970s keyboard progressions that screams of washed out bedrooms and pixelated afternoon television. The R&B vibe hangs as the corners, but the other influences are hard to place, an arrangement that denies easy treatment… It’s immensely memorable, a hook you want to sing and sing again, a brilliant slice of pop in a tiny pacakage.” – Geoff Nelson
  • The Deli Magazine – St. Lenox validates all those emotions that thoughts of your hometown bring up and which you think are too sappy to reveal. Maybe its rides on Greyhound buses… or the images of crucifixion that pop up now and then in our dealings with the world. Envision a golden-throated jazz crooner singing mercurial melodies over skittery electronic compositions … St. Lenox sits on a stool, bathed in pale blue stage lights, sounding like a beautiful robot from the future.” – The Deli @ CMJ Music Marathon
  • The New York Antifolk Festival – “Ring Alexander walks in and says something to the effect of ‘Wow this guy’s kind of interesting – he just says what he’s saying.’… Really there is something in this man’s songwriting that lets the world speak for itself… the closest analog to St. Lenox’s musical/poetic sensibility is the ancient bard.” – J.J. Hayes
  • DaggerZine – “Electronica (or is this folktronica?) from an NYC via Columbus dude. Not what you’d normally expect from the Anyway label but this is good.”
  • SonicBids Blog – “With influences that range from classical to pop and electronica to jazz … St. Lenox creates an eclectic listening experience for the audience.” – Jeff Israel
  • OhioNYC – “St. Lenox probably has more in common with the Magnetic Fields than his classical background… he belted out prosaic verses… in a voice reminiscent of Stevie Wonder.” – Stephen Slaybaugh