NYC-based Korean-American artist Andrew Choi who performs as St. Lenox has released the final preview single “Teenage Eyes” ahead of the release of his new album Ten Songs of Worship and Praise for Our Tumultuous Times, due out this Friday June 11 on Don Giovanni Records / Anyway Records. Touting a “Peace in Our Time” speech by Eisenhower in the background, the video invites you into Choi’s inner-monologue as he compares Dungeons & Dragons to a religious experience while reflecting on the power of nostalgia, escapism, motivation and love.
Ten Songs of Worship is a progressive, queer, spiritual record tracking the great American religious drift of the 21st century— from religious hope to religious doubt. Choi’s distinctive vocals and anticipation for the record sparked critical acclaim from MTV, Hey Alma, GLAAD, NPR, Columbus Alive, and more. Choi also recently published his essay “Towards an Asian-American Music” on Korean Indie and was featured alongside Toni Charline and Eugene Cordero (Star Trek, The Good Place) on the Improv4Humans Podcast with Matt Besser. The new collection will be available across digital platforms and as a limited edition 500-copy vinyl pressing in heavenly vinyl (cloudy ivory vinyl with a gold metallic label).
In equal parts adoration and heresy, Ten Songs of Worship reflects on past experiences with religion, in the face of great social upheaval and uncertainty. Now a Manhattan attorney with a PhD in philosophy, Choi meditates on the modern angst of people disillusioned with the church, but whose memories of it still retain some color and meaning in modern times. It is at turns lush and raw, with gorgeous and impressionistic instrumentation orbiting around his forceful, intense vocals and the autofictional words that they carry.
There is a bold honesty under the music’s melodic framework, exploring spirituality through a queer perspective that asks many questions in search of a greater truth. Just like life itself, there’s a lot to discover in these ten songs, providing plenty in terms of revelation. However, Choi stresses that this music is less about siding with political agendas that many associate with religion and more about evoking the feeling of worship itself, right down to these ten songs’ instrumentation. Listening to St. Lenox’ Ten Songs of Worship and Praise for Our Tumultuous Times is an immediate experience, capturing your full attention in a generous and benevolent way that stays with you long after the last note plays.
Photo Courtesy: Janice Chung