Out February 22, the fifth full-length album Michael Benjamin Lerner has recorded as Telekinesis is perfect, unfussy power pop—romantic and hopeful and skittish and fresh and familiar, with hooks in all the right places. Its title, Effluxion, comes from the Latin term meaning “to flow” and captures the spirit in which the album was made: hooks flow in, hooks flow out.
Listen to the quiet-loud-quiet first single “Set a Course” accompanied by a self-shot lyric video, both of which are premiering today on American Songwriter. Pre-order Effluxion now on CD, LP, and mint green Peak Vinyl in the Merge store, or wherever you buy music. Last but not least, purchase tickets for Telekinesis’ big North American spring headlining tour.
After Lerner largely traded guitars and drums for moodier synthesizers and drum machines on 2015’s Ad Infinitum—more OMD than GBV—Scottish indie-pop gods Teenage Fanclub invited Lerner on board as a touring member in 2017. In addition to this being genie-lamp wish fulfillment for a devoted acolyte (see: Telekinesis’ cover of “The Concept” and also pretty much everything Telekinesis has ever recorded), playing those songs every night with his heroes brought him back to known pleasures.
Effluxion is, in the purest way, a back-to-basics album—not just in its reaffirmation of the sound and style that made Lerner an indie wunderkind a decade ago at age 22, but in the way it was created. Using the same now-discontinued MacBook microphone he used to record his earliest tracks, he holed up in the basement of his West Seattle home and put the album together piece by piece over the past two years, playing every instrument. While previous albums had former Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla (who discovered and championed Telekinesis’ demos) and Spoon’s Jim Eno serving as producers and sounding boards and sidemen and general voices of authority and experience, Lerner wanted to do this one entirely on his own—a singular vision that has resulted in the purest, most confident Telekinesis album yet.
2. Cut the Quick
3. Like Nothing
4. Running Like a River
5. Set a Course
6. How Do I Get Rid of Sunlight?
7. Suburban Streetlight Drunk
8. Feel It in Your Bones
9. A Place in the Sun
10. Out for Blood
Telekinesis on tour:
4/1 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
4/2 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
4/4 Omaha, NE – Slowdown Jr.
4/5 Davenport, IA – The Raccoon Motel
4/6 St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
4/7 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
4/8 Chicago, IL – Schubas
4/0 Detroit, MI – El Club
4/11 Toronto, ON – Drake Hotel
4/12 Montreal, QC – Bar le Ritz PDB
4/13 Boston, MA – Great Scott
4/14 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
4/16 Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade
4/17 Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
4/18 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle Back Room
4/19 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
4/20 Nashville, TN – The Basement
4/22 Dallas, TX – Ruins
4/23 Houston, TX – Rockefeller’s
4/24 Austin, TX – 3TEN ACL Live
4/26 Phoenix, AZ – The Rebel Lounge
4/27 San Diego, CA – Casbah
4/28 Los Angeles, CA – The Moroccan Lounge
4/30 San Francisco, CA – Cafe du Nord
5/2 Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
5/3 Seattle, WA – Neumos
5/4 Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret