From the Coast of Carolina to Tokyo with Telekinesis

April 7th, 2009

telekinesis_press1_loI love indie pop music. There’s just something about it that catches my ear each time those sugary poppy hooks stream on the air. It gives me the same feeling that warm sunny days and margaritas do–makes me happy and all warm & fuzzy.  That’s pretty much how I felt when I first heard Coast of Carolina last fall by Seattle’s Telekinesis.  I liked it so much that I went straight to KEXP’s website to see who was playing which I rarely do.  Next stop—the band’s myspace page discovering that actually it’s not a band, but just one guy, where I promptly emailed him asking if I could write about his album. However to my dismay, it wasn’t ready at the time. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I found out that Telekinesis’ new LP, Telekinesis! is ready to be released…today.

Coast of Carolina


Telekinesis is the project of Michael Benjamin Lerner who recorded his latest with Chris Walla (of Death Cab for Cutie fame) touting the role of producer and engineer. Michael wrote and sang all of the songs constructed of vintage pop hooks of the 60s and 70s  blended with indie flair. Each of the songs were tracked and mixed to analog tape in a single day before moving on to the next song in order to avoid over-thinking or over-working the spontaneous enthusiasm of the music. And, not only is Lerner the talented frontman, but he played nearly all of the instruments on the album. While he’s out touring with Ra Ra Riot though, he won’t be solo but with a full band of Seattlites backing him up.

Telekinesis! is filled with 11 quintessential pop tunes, 3 of which have already hit the KEXP airwaves: Awkward Kisser, Tokyo, and Coast of Carolina (the latter getting the heaviest rotation).  With the opening song Rust about a rusty heart that’s afraid to love, it’s easy to set yourself up for a more dreamy melancholic experience however that feeling soon dissipates once the sunny, catchy Coast of Carolina comes to play.  As the songs progress, so does the fearlessness and intensity of the music with Tokyo, an homage to Lerner’s love for Japan,  Look to the East, All of a Sudden and Foreign Room which eases in gently then peaks with power pop force. Telekinesis! wraps up as it started, on the softer side but with not so much of the melancholy. I Saw Lightening is a sweet melodic love song which makes you think that maybe that rusty heart got a jolt, or possibly some oil, to make it not so afraid after all.


Lerner and crew will be in town on April 17th with the Banyans, Say Hi and Throw Me the Statue for their CD release party at the Crocodile. So if you like what you hear here, be sure to go check them out next week.

Posted by Jules | Filed in MP3s, Music

5 Responses to “From the Coast of Carolina to Tokyo with Telekinesis”

  1. April 7th, 2009 at 7:52 am

    B@ said:

    Jules – nice pick! I really like the track you posted. I will have to check these guys out further.

  2. April 8th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Tom.Blodgett said:

    Telekinesis was the first of two opening bands at the Ra Ra Riot show and definitely the most memorable and easy to enjoy. I also hadn’t realized that the drummer/singer, who I commended after the show, was the mastermind for the whole project. The backup band works really well together. I’ll be excited to check out the CD. I noticed the single made it to number one on the Spin magazine charts a while back.

    Great write up! That Croc shows sounds awesome.

  3. April 9th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Jules said:

    Hey Tom, Thanks! I do really like the CD. I’ve been listening to it a bunch since I got it 2 weeks ago. You should pick one up at the show :)

  4. April 24th, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Seattle Subsonic » The New Crocodile: Hot or Not? : Seattle's Music Blog said:

    [...] bar near Madison Park for the first half of the evening and then off to the CD release party for Telekinesis for the second half at the Crocodile. My friends and I figured that we would stay at the party [...]

  5. September 25th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Seattle Subsonic » Telekinesis! Making the Rounds : Seattle's Music Blog said:

    [...] part of your album collection yet, you should. In my humble opinion, it’s  one of the best of the year. And with just 3 months left of 2009, I’m really hoping there will be more than just one band on [...]

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