San Francisco native and singer-songwriter Andrew St. James is a rare talent who has single handedly combined San Francisco’s beatnik past with it’s willfully high-tech future. St James writes and performs music that lives up to the mythology created by Neil Young, Jerry Garcia and Jack Kerouac while easily meeting the bar set by current luminaries such as Father John Misty, Ryan Adams, and other keepers of the singer-songwriter flame. But Andrew St James is in a class of his own, as a listen to any of his recorded work will make readily apparent.
Andrew St. James was born the accident child of The Rolling Stones’ tour caterers. After riding the Voodoo Lounge Tour in utero, he was born somewhere in Northern California, and taken in by a family of political lobbyists in San Francisco. Considered a vocal prodigy, St. James developed an early interest in baroque classical music, touring internationally in choirs and by age 11 was singing for the San Francisco Opera. Following the death of his biological father, St. James, then 16, recorded a solo album with a handheld recorder while hitchhiking the Pacific Northwest. The recordings found their way to veteran Bay Area producer Jim Greer (Foster The People, Galactic, Geographer), who in turn began working with St. James on his first proper release. Doldrums, recorded during his senior year of high school, was released September 2013 to critical acclaim. “Andrew has compiled a magnificent collection of graceful harmonies, acoustic ambience and echoing vocal brilliance with a wise-beyond-his-years sense of musicianship; all in eleven hypnotizing tracks”-Nanobotrack.
After briefly attending college on the east coast, St James headed back to California on a motorcycle where he joined Greer to record his second LP The Shakes, released in 2014, which according to Pittsburg In Tune “cements St. James’ status as one of the most promising young artists around.” Followed by several years of touring he eventually landed in Los Angeles where he capitalized on his talent as a songwriter and started collaborating with some of LA’s larger acts such as Cold War Kids and Mark Foster.
David Eggers’ controversial 2016 election playlist, “30 days, 30 songs”, featured a St. James song, “Makin It Great Again!” alongside REM, Jim James, Death Cab For Cutie and more. Solidifying his subversive political voice, these kinds of notices began putting St. James at the forefront of the Bay Area music scene as plays all over the state began to pile up.
Born out of time visiting and creating in Los Angeles, The Big Ole Veronica Apology Record released in 2017, is a commentary on flat mass culture, American indifference, and a self expressed “millennial malaise”. Despite it’s subversive undertones, “The Apology Record” is an upbeat collection of songs the Bay Bridged refers to as “lyrically charged folk-pop […] with gorgeous harmonies, indelible hooks and an infectious high energy.”
Andrew St. James currently lives in San Francisco, where he continues working with long time producer Jim Greer, a relationship that led to a recent songwriting collaboration with popular Bay Area band Geographer. The song, entitled “Jaguar” will be released as a bonus track on a split 7″ vinyl with Geographer out on Tricycle Records on July 20th, 2018. The vinyl will also feature St. James song “Laura”, previously released on The Big Ole Veronica Apology Record.
St. James upcoming release Liberation Music.! For Boring People (out October 19th, 2018 on Tricycle Records) was recorded in November of 2016 during a rocky period in Andrew St. James' life. Written in the aftermath of the presidential election, the songs are an exploration of national tension as well as personal turmoil. In the chaos, the studio tapes were mysteriously misplaced only to be found over a year later, creating a new context and meaning for the batch of songs from this observant and reflective songwriter.
Liberation Music offers exactly what music needs right now: a voice for thosecerebral members of the new generation, out there hiding in plain sight, observing and relating on the level we should all expect from our troubadours. St. James’s lyrical subversion and musical vulnerability explores just that, revealing the very core social values and personal ambitions of today. "Boring People" is about all of us, how we are brainwashed by the media, having to work ten times harder to keep up with the onslaught,” says St James. Filled with catchy singles such as I'm Ready, Inside The Mess You Made, and the gorgeous Forever Waiting, Forever There, his sly look on life translates onto this record. If "Liberation Music" could be best summed up in a lyric, it would be from the records breezy pop song, Inside A Wonderful Mind: "While you were looking for the answers, I was looking at the dancer..."