I've been enjoying some pretty decent music so far this year, but I believe we finally have a strong contender for the top slot of whatever semblance of a Top 10 of 2009 i'll be able to piece together at year's end. Take the power pop stylings of Big Star and/or their offspring The Posies and polish it up w/ the indie sensibilities of The Shins...and say hello to Telekinesis.
While currently touring as a full band, on wax Telekinesis is actually almost entirely Michael Lerner (w/ a little help)...an extremely talented cat. Lerner tracked and mixed each of its songs to analog tape w/ producer Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) in a single day before moving on to the next song, with the ambitious goal of never over-thinking or sabotaging the spontaneous enthusiasm of the music. As the result is some of the most polished indie-pop i've heard in a long while, that process seems all the more incredible.
The album starts out w/ the initially restrained, but eventually expanding, balladry of 'Rust' and could be considered a musical red herring of sorts to what lies in store. 'Coast of Carolina' explodes into a punchy rock tune impossible to not tap your foot to and Japanese love-letters 'Tokyo' and 'Look to the East' are equally as brilliant p-pop masterstrokes. A rough-hewn Beach Boys sounding track in 'Awkward Kisser' is a great chaser until the album drifts into a couple of slightly more down-tempo, but powerfully enjoyable, tracks like the perfect-for-a-road trip 'Great Lakes'. Finally, if I could pick one song to define both my youth and the struggle w/ it's gradual decline into adulthood...'Imaginary Friend' would be it. Such a GREAT tune.
The whole thing is extremely solid, maybe the final track being the exception...someone else stated it sounded like an Adam Sandler song. I find that a tad harsh, but you can't please everybody. For me, this album is a total package...one you sit back with from start to finish. It drops via MERGE records on 7-Apr, but you can stream the entire thing HERE and i'm throwing a taste in the jukebox as well. Tasty!