“Power Lines” by Telekinesis

Michael Lerner, an indie pop-rocker from Seattle who records under the name “Telekinesis,” is modest and self-effacing when it comes to his musicianship.  When he goes on tour and Telekinesis expands into a full band, he sings while manning the drum kit; he’s quite cognizant of his inability to play guitar or bass while singing.  Even learning to sing and drum simultaneously was a bit of a struggle.  And in the studio, where he generally plays all of the instruments on his songs, he sometimes defers to an old pro, Spoon’s Jim Eno, and has him drum on some tracks.  Lerner is, one presumes, aware of his limitations as a singer as well; he is serviceable as a vocalist, but that’s all.

The real reason to listen to Telekinesis, then, is not extraordinary musicianship but rather extraordinary songwriting on Lerner’s part.  He has an uncommon talent for coming up with catchy hooks and spinning them into some of the most sugary but well-crafted pop songs you’ll hear this side of the mainstream.  Telekinesis released a new album, Dormarion, on Tuesday, and it’s full of these arresting, earwormy tunes.  “Power Lines” finds Lerner warbling over inviting acoustic guitar followed by a build-up to a pleasant plateau of electric guitar, driving drums, and out-in-front synth lines echoing parts of the sung melody; it’s the kind of song that could get stuck in your head for days.