A music project called St. Lenox had their album and song “Just Friends” featured on NPR’s Songs We Love last week:
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.
“Just Friends” is a soaring song that poignantly chronicles all the irreparable differences that added up to a pair of broken hearts. Choi spends the song trying to make sense of what went wrong: “You never could be on time and / I never was much of a lover and / I never could stand to lose an argument at a party.” But Choi isn’t navel-gazing here: 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.
The comparison to John Darnielle, the creative force behind The Mountain Goats, resulted in a public praise by Darnielle himself— calling St. Lenox “a lyricist of the highest order.”
got the @StLenox album. he is a lyricist of the highest order in my opinion. incredibly moving and honest songs which I recommend!
— The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) January 13, 2015