Michael Benjamin Lerner’s third record as Telekinesis, Dormarion, is like a bag of fun size candy. Each delicious nugget is individually wrapped and it’s really hard to stop with just one.
Lerner tries his hand at a myriad of different styles on Dormarion. The irresistible “Empathetic People” is a crunchy power pop delight. “Ghosts and Creatures” branches out into expansive electronic melodies.
If you’re looking for retro vibes, Telekinesis provides the bright, innocent romance on “Lean on Me” and cheesy snyths on “Ever True.”
Dormarion covers more ground yet. The grimy “Wires” recalls New Wave and the Handsome Furs. “Island #4” is an anthem worthy of stadiums and swaying lighters. The album closes with the epic post-rock of “You Take It Slowly.”
Not everything is a hit. “Little Hill” ventures into 90’s rawk which is better avoided. “Symphony” checks the acoustic box.
Despite the constantly changing outer coating, the core of each song is the same. Lerner writes compact pop with strong melodies and equal parts fun and precision.
Previous Telekinesis records presented a somber Seattle sound, but Dormarion is a blast of fresh air and warmth into Lerner’s catalog. He’s shaking off his previous limitations and exploring different emotions and sounds.
The album has a mixtape feel, but the quality of each song keeps the listener coming back. With each sweet morsel, it’s harder to resist.
Dormarion is available April 2 on Merge Records. Telekinesis will play Local 506 on May 4 with Deep Sea Diver. Tickets are $10.