Music » Critics' Picks


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Some solo artists seem like reclusive weirdos forced into musical solitude by their social ineptitude, while others simply aren't good enough to justify having a band. But Michael Lerner isn't either of those things. The Merge Records debut of his solo project, Telekinesis, is the work of a man brimming with too much enthusiasm and confidence to be contained to just one instrument. Its economical pop tunes are full of pristine hooks (à la the Shins) and heart-on-sleeve lyricism (à la Ben Gibbard), and the whole package is held together by the sort of unapologetic mid-fi production that Dave Grohl employed on the first Foo Fighters record. In other words, it's no surprise that Lerner hails from the city of Portland — Telekinesis perfectly embodies the Pacific Northwest's indie-rock sound.

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