According to the Oxford English Dictionary Effluxion means the action of flowing out. And when Michael Benjamin Lerner aka Telekinesis first heard the word he said: “I looked it up and it felt really indicative of the way this record ended up working, everything just started kind of flowing out.” Effluxion is his fifth album as Telekinesis out 22nd February on Merge Records. He released his debut album Telekinesis in April 2009 after signing to Merge earlier that year. The album was produced and engineered with help from Death Cab For Cutie’s guitarist Chris Walla. Also, Spoon’s Jim Eno was involved on previous albums too but for his fifth fayre, he wanted to be entirely independent.
First track Effluxion brings to mind The Beatles A Day In The Life which is not surprising as Lerner was raised in Seattle by his DJ dad who was fixated with the Beatles. He was even educated as a teenager at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts co-founded by Paul McCartney. But it would be unfair to dismiss him as just a Beatles copyist. The song begins with earnest sounding acoustics and vocals bringing to mind more a touch of the Eels. Then drums and a piano enter and hence echoes of the Fab Four. It’s wistful and honest. An arresting track that builds layer upon layer before a sudden, abrupt ending.
Cut the Quick has a piano hook that immediately reels you in. This swoops and sways with catchy “La la las” and is the single from the album, you can see why it’s a real foot tapper. I love the Clangers-effect ending too. Running Like A River has a real feel-good factor with a country style feel. I love the synth effects in the middle that contrast well with the guitar.
Set A Course has a gentle, contemplative beginning until 1.19 minutes in when a thumping rhythm section drives in with a thudding baseline as the song travels faster and faster toward its destination. “Every time I feel like falling down, I pick myself up off the ground”: a real life-affirming track. How Do I Get Rid of Sunlight is jubilant mixing touches of the piano from the theme tune to Sesame Street with dashes of ELO. I love the contrast of Feel It In Your Bones with its punky rough edges.
The album ends on a haunting note with Out for Blood which is worthy of contributing to a sci-fi soundtrack. It’s very 80s and synth sounding with some great vocal effects. This really is a strong album with several contenders for singles on it. Ten years on from his debut Lerner still knows how to craft a catchy, intelligent pop song that’ll keep you hooked.