In 2009, Michael Benjamin Lerner released a so-sweet-it-almost-could-make-you-sick debut album of hesitant love songs under the name of Telekinesis (which ended up being #1 on Music Induced Euphoria’s year end list). He wrote all of the music and played all of the instruments on the album, which Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie produced. His first words were “I’ve got a heart but it’s afraid to love//sometimes I think the damn thing’s full of rust”. Now any self respecting musician would never release the same album twice, so what did good ol’ Seattle musician go and do? Write an equally enticing if not as instantly alluring break up album called 12 Desperate Straight Lines, once again doing everything himself and recording with Walla at Jackpot! Studios in Portland. This time he opens with “We fell in love in the summer//by the springtime we were done”, paving the way for an album hailing bitterness and detachment above all else. "When you see me, you're gonna cry, you're gonna cry," he declares. He nods to the Cure on "Please Ask For Help" and "Country Lane". When Lerner does melancholy, he does it through and through, relying heavily on bass and sharp repetitions renouncing the love which he so desperately sought previously. “50 ways” is a tantalizing ode to heartbreak and is like a darker version of the Paul Simon classic. Powerful, controlled drums reign supreme on "I got you", a song that emulates the darker songs on Final Straw era Snow Patrol. “Dirty Thing” takes you back a bit to the sweet guitars of the debut but overall, the whole album is heart wrenching and digs deep into the darkest recesses of your memories. However, the album concludes with Lerner looking towards the sun, singing "I gotta get it right now" with The Thermals providing the back up "whoa uh oh oh's". He can't help himself, when all is said and done, he's an optimist who relies more on the Kinks than Joy Division for musical inspiration.