When Andrew Choi, who records and performs under the name St. Lenox, started assembling the music for his debut album, Ten Songs About Memory and Hope (Anyway Records), he found himself overcome by feelings of nostalgia.

When Andrew Choi, who records and performs under the name St. Lenox, started assembling the music for his debut album, Ten Songs About Memory and Hope (Anyway Records), he found himself overcome by feelings of nostalgia.

“A lot of [the album] was written at different times, but when I started putting these together I was leaving Columbus [to attend law school in] New York, and that was sort of a heavy period,” said Choi, 35, who visits Kafe Kerouac for a concert on Thursday, June 4, in addition to a Friday gig at Bossy Grrl’s Pin Up Joint. “I was leaving a place that I loved very much, and it made me think of the last time I made a big move from [my childhood home in Ames,] Iowa.”

The musician further attributes the album’s sepia-tinged undertones to the natural passage of time — “Nothing ever lasts forever/ Nothing ever really stays the same,” he sings on “Pop Song 2012” — and at least a handful of tunes carbon date to around the time he turned 30, a birthday he half-jokingly labeled “depressing.”

Regardless, Choi’s songs rarely recount events in linear fashion. Instead, memories tend to arrive in a swirling, galactic rush. Take piano-charged opener “I Still Dream of the ’90s,” which manages to touch on the fall of the U.S.S.R., the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal, trading mixtapes, the short-lived existence of Crystal Pepsi, 99-cent gasoline and the Iraq War, among other things. Other songs, like the lovely, affecting “Just Friends,” are more immediately personal, borne of a romantic relationship that ended just before the musician relocated to New York.

“I never could let you win/ And I never could let things go/ And you never could suffer it when I didn’t meet you halfway,” Choi confesses, inviting listeners further in even as he holds his ex at arm’s length.

Like screenwriter and director Kelly Reichardt (“Old Joy,” “Wendy and Lucy”), Choi has a knack for mining profound truths from the mundanity of day-to-day life, spinning small details into songs that reveal something about the greater human condition. On “To Be Young Again,” for one, frayed T-shirts, hemp rope necklaces and cassette tapes combine to paint a picture of youthful innocence and optimism.

“I guess one realization I had is when people hear that [saying] ‘write what you know’ … they oftentimes just end up writing about those stock experiences everyone writes about: being in love or breaking up,” Choi said. “There are lots of experiences people have out there, and some of them can be mundane, but your life — everybody's life — is filled with all sorts of great and interesting moments.”

A portion of Choi’s development as both a songwriter and a musician has coincided with his acceptance of failure — a tough-skinned trait he credits to an adolescence spent onstage as an accomplished violinist and, oddly enough, a long-held fascination with karaoke.

“There was something liberating about [discovering] karaoke,” said Choi, who remains a regular of numerous NYC karaoke nights, refining his vocal technique performing songs like the Flamingos’ “I Only Have Eyes for You” (to practice his sustain) and Amy Winehouse’s “Me & Mr. Jones” (for vibrato and runs). “The first time I did karaoke … I was like, ‘I can completely fuck up and that's fine. I’ll just get to try again.’”

CreditDonParisSchlotman_0604