Telekinesis - Dormarion
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Record Label; Merge Records
Telekinesis seems to, unfairly, slip through the cracks of the big time. Despite Telekinesis (a.k.a Michael Benjamin Lerner) having the ability to pen some of the catchiest, memorable and generally awesome songs possible (see 2009’s Telekinesis! and 2011’s 12 Desperate Straight Lines for examples), he has never got the credit deserved for being one of the best songwriters of our generation. If we live in a world where Benjamin Gibbard is considered as a god, it only seems fair that Michael Benjamin Lerner should be too. Yet, unfortunately, that is not the case. Dormarion should be the album to fix that. Throughout the course of twelve tracks, Telekinesis makes the world seem like an altogether prettier place whilst presenting us with an album that is, quite definitely, his best yet.
Telekinesis has three modes, it seems. Firstly, insolent indie rock blasts, fueled by dance-able guitar lines and garage rock vocal deliveries. His second mode falls between the lines of slow, delicate acoustic strummers which perfectly emulate the sound of falling in love. The last mode is the provision of synth based electro pop nuggets. So, basically, Telekinesis has all aspects of the current indie scene covered. Although this may sound like it could be patchy or slightly discordant, the successful carrying off of eclecticism is what makes Dormarion so bloody wonderful. Each track of the record is different to the last, but they’re all tied together by Lerner’s distinct vocal delivery, which is on absolute top form. When his vocals need to be the companion to a rock out, á la “Little Hill”, they willingly oblige and transform into garage rock baiting, swagger filled yelps. When sweet frailness is in order, as in “Symphony”, Lerner’s vocals dive straight into the listener’s heart and builds a little cove for itself to live. However at the soul of his vocals, there’s always the same young sounding, distinct tone that makes Telekinesis so much more likable and accessible than many of their peers.
Aside from the wonderful singing, the music and lyrics aren’t half bad either. For the first time ever, Lerner found himself working alongside someone else in the production of this record - Spoon drummer, Jim Eno. His hand is to be heard in the newfound somewhat grittier delivery at times throughout the record, yet this is still very much a typical Telekinesis album. “Power Lines”, in an alternate universe, would be the song on the tip of every pop fan’s tongue. Skillfully melding together catchy, straight up acoustic and a sugary sweet indie rock driven melody, “Power Lines”, although not heavy on substance, is a ridiculously fun track that leaves the listener grinning like an idiot. This is one of Dormarion’s best traits. It’s an ultimately fun album. No one’s going to cry their woes out whilst listening to the poppy synth driven “Ghosts And Creatures” or the snappy, light hearted “Laissez-faire”, but they will the perfect soundtrack from an indie rock disco. All music doesn’t have to take itself seriously, and Telekinesis knows exactly how to write the perfect chorus, without be brainless or annoying, but through his intelligence in creating music.
Speaking in terms of album highlights, the record holds a plethora of them. “Empathetic People”’s bouncy, ‘running a marathon’ feel creates a high adrenaline hit which is among the best tracks in Telekinesis’ back catalogue. The aforementioned acoustic “Symphony” is beautiful. Wide eyed and love filled, “Symphony” melts down every listener’s heart and lays it out to be played under the drop of a needle. This record is just so incredibly likeable, and it’s hard to listen without wishing Lerner was your best friend. Dormarion is the sound of an utterly pleasant musician who, if the indie world was a little less fickle, would be ruling the airwaves.
Overall, Dormarion is one of the most eclectic, fun records of the year. Running at thirty five minutes, it’s worth more than just repeat listens, but also a place in any listener’s heart. If you want indie music without the pretense, folk music without the traditionalism and electronica without the weirdness, Telekinesis is happily obliging. If this the sound of Telekinesis growing as an artist, album number four is going to take the world by storm. Telekinesis is one of the best young artists on the scene today, get into this now.