Local Christian band records first album in Nashville

Drummer Jason St.Clair ready record at Catch This Music Studios.

Photo courtesy of Lexington Heights.

Drummer Jason St.Clair ready record at Catch This Music Studios.

Lexington Heights are bringing a unique sound to the local Christian music scene.  The group, who describes themselves as pop-rock with a bit of everything mixed in, will soon be releasing an EP.  It will be made up of new, unreleased material.

Titles of the new works are “God of All,” “Holy” and “None Compares.”      

The group is comprised of Jonathan Mikhail, vocals; Parker Richardson, vocals and bass; Jordan Magelssen, lead guitar, keyboard, and vocals; and Jason St. Clair on drums.  

Although the completed lineup has only been together for seven months, they’ve already gotten some airtime on shine.fm, a Christian music radio station in the Chicago and Indianapolis areas.  Plus they have been hard at work at Catch This Music Studios in Nashville, Tenn.  recording their EP.

“We’ve been having a great time recording in Nashville,” said Richardson, a public relations major at Southern.  

Catch This Music Studios is in the heart of Music Row, an area of Nashville dedicated to country, gospel and Christian music.  It’s located near Blackbird Studio, which has produced music by Taylor Swift, The White Stripes, The Kings of Leon and Sheryl Crow.  The band says they even got to meet Tommy Cash, Johnny Cash’s brother.

Their process is heavily influenced by the song writing of Mikhail and Magelssen, but they work as a team to get to the finished product.  

“They [Mikhail and Magelssen] will come up with lyrics and then they’ll have a basic chord progression, bring it to the rest of us and then we all kind of work on it together as a whole and we give each other ideas during practice,” said St. Clair.

Mikhail describes his song writing abilities as coming naturally to him at an early age as a coping mechanism and as a means for self-expression.  

“If I was ever in trouble as a child I didn’t get grounded, I got my musical instruments taken away,” he said.

Working in the studio is another major influence on their finished work.  

“It’s amazing whenever we go to the studio how much the songs change as far as the format and kind of how we switch things around in the songs,” said Richardson.

The members of Lexington Heights have each brought different musical influences to the table to put together a collection with a range of sounds.

“We all listen to lots of different kinds of music and come from different musical backgrounds—pop-rock, metal, hard-core, worship,” St. Clair said.  “When we came together it was a lot different, and we finally found what we naturally went to … I’d say our influences would be Cartel, Sanctous Real, David Crowder Band, a weird blend between those.”

Some of Lexington Heights’ previously released work includes songs “Alive,” “Draw the Line” and “Reign.”  

“Alive” is positive and upbeat through and though.  It certainly meets the pop-rock destination.  On the other hand, “Draw the Line” opens with a more serious tone and poetic lyrics and flows into a cathartic-sounding chorus.  “Reign” is much slower and ambience is the backdrop to Mikhail’s soul-bearing lyrics.  The band finds cohesion by employing heavy drums and melodic riffs in each song.

Most importantly, the common thread between these very distinctive songs is the message.  

“We’re a Christian worship band and our focus is on the church and the people that are wondering, ‘What’s out there? Is there a God?  Is there not a God?’  Our mission is, ‘Hey, there’s a Lord and savior who loves you,’” said Richardson.

St. Clair agrees. “It’s our ministry.”

They say that while they love playing music and meeting new people, their real focus is on spreading the word of God and being an outlet for the Christian message.

“I don’t’ want them to see us, I want them to see the message, which is the power of Christ,” said Mikhail.