There’s a great essay that a writer named Joe Berkowitz wrote for The Awl a couple years ago called “My Superpower Is Being Alone Forever: Newly Single.” It’s one of the most accurate and moving pieces I’ve ever read on the subject of love—or, well, to be more specific, the subject of love falling apart. He elegantly describes the basic, every day happenings we become hyper aware of after a break up, when our significant other is no longer significant. He writes: “I’m keenly aware of a certain G-chat window’s negative space on my computer screen all day. Unfortunate coworker fashion choices go criminally underreported. The pertinent details of which falafel place I did for lunch are lost to the ages. My day’s narrative simply loses its primary audience, as though cancelled due to low ratings and frequent profanity. I could continue the broadcast on Facebook, dispatching glossy post-breakup PR or the romantic distress bat-signal of Sade lyrics, but being heard is not the same as feeling known. Nothing can substitute for the presence of an actual human person who knows most of your secrets and still somehow wants to make out with you.” Damn, right?
Anyway, breaking up sucks. Below, we have the premiere the video for a song called “Bitter Pill” by an artist named St. Lenox, a project by a man named Andrew Choi (who spends his day job working as a lawyer, hence the contracts law book in the above photo). And, 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, while the video is just as simple. It follows Choi to the grocery store, coming home, cooking dinner for two people even though there’s only one person—all while his previous lover kind of hovers in the background, not literally but as a figment of his imagination. “Walk into the kitchen and you’ll see a drawing of a man with hearts for arms and legs stuck to the door of the refrigerator,” he sings. “You had drawn the picture as a silly little gift for me / I kept the drawing to confirm that you are still with me.”
Watch it below, and if you're in New York, catch St. Lenox at a couple tour spots:
2/21 New York, NY - Sidewalk Cafe (early)
4/3 New York, NY - Cake Shop
Eric Sundermann is on Twitter.