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Telekinesis: Tiny Desk Concert

It's a little late in the year to be chasing down a perfect summer soundtrack, but Telekinesis' recent self-titled debut — okay, technically, it's called Telekinesis! — fits the bill. The disc finds the band concocting a perfect mix of guitar-driven crunch and good-natured fizziness, with hooky effervescence that makes it almost ridiculously easy to like.

Reduced to two guys (singer-songwriter Michael Benjamin Lerner and guitarist Chris Staples) for this charming Tiny Desk Concert, Telekinesis is all heart here. Without the insistent crunch of electric guitars or drums — Lerner plays the latter himself when not performing acoustic sets at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen — the band's performance radiates sweetly awkward warmth. After opening with the unreleased "Plankton," the abbreviated Telekinesis showcases three gorgeous songs from its debut: "Coast of Carolina," "I Saw Lightning" and "Rust."

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Stephen Thompson
Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)