If there’s one regret David Duchovny has, it’s that he never wrote in his twenties and thirties. Acting in his own way throughout the ’90s, achieving cult status as Fox Mulder on The X-Files ahead of a seven-season streak on Californication, Duchovny never considered himself a writer, let alone a songwriter. A bloomer later in the middle, at the age of 55 Duchovny released his debut album Against all odds and first novel Sacred cow in 2015. Still significantly younger than his father, Amram, who published his first book when he was 70, Duchovny insists it’s never too late when releasing his third album. Land of gestures (GMG / Kyd heading west).
Following the release of his second album Every third thought in 2018, Duchovny ended up with over 20 songs after an unexpected wave of writing, and then made it a more intentional process. “I never wanted it to look like work, but I also feel like I’m a seasoned enough designer to know that you can’t trust that initial inspiration forever,” says Duchovny. “After a certain point there is a discipline, and I’m not going to write a song unless I take my guitar and tell myself to write a song. If you’re lucky enough to get the momentum going, there is nothing better, but if you have to sit down when things aren’t going well, that’s where the real glory comes. Anyone can write when they are inspired.
contrary to Every third thought, which included songs written before his debut, Land of gestures is a collection of completely new songs, which Duchovny recorded after a brief hiatus during the pandemic, with keyboardist Colin Lee, guitarists Pat McCusker and Keenan O’Meara, bassist Mitchell Stewart and drummer Davis Rowan.
“This is really the first album that presents a complete novelty,” says Duchovny. “When I started writing the songs, all of a sudden I had this rush of 20, 25 songs in no time. It was a new forum, and I had all these things that I wanted. say, and all those chord progressions that were new to me.
Land of gestures journey through all the signs, illusions, disillusions and gestures of life and all its nuances, from the indie impulses of “Nights Are Harder These Days” and the more folk inflection of “Holding Patterns” and “Chapter and Verse”, the latter who came to Duchovny in a dream and was completed two years later. “Everything is Noise,” written by O’Meara, lends a touch of sentimental pop, with “Tessera” offering a softer ear around “Layin ‘On The Tracks” political boost – Crowds will gather in the rain poisoned / To hear what they crave / Scream and cheer for what was once foolish / Passed for fun. Driving on the Pacific Coast Highway, David Duchovny remembers thinking the sun shines brighter on the Pacific Coast Highway because all the lights are on my way, which looked like its own “Hotel California”.
“They’re all about disillusion in some way or freedom once you see it through the illusion,” says Duchovny. “On ‘Pacific Coast Highway’ it’s the smoke and mirrors of Hollywood and on ‘Mind of Winter’ it’s the philosophies you were taught as a kid or the stories you have to step away from to come back and see clearly. “
Land of gestures ends around “Sea of Tranquility”, a song originally inspired by the 1969 moon landing and the Astronaut’s Tranquility Base. “They landed in the ‘Sea of Tranquility’, and it always seemed beautiful to me, and it’s a phrase that comes to mind from childhood,” shares Duchovny, who also linked the song to an article he read about a methamphetamine addict. couple who believed the moon was made of drugs with references to their deceased dog Blue and being blue. “We’re looking at the moon, and it affects us, and if you’re really fragile, you might think it’s made of drugs or something,” Duchovny explains. “I love swimming in the ocean, and I also thought about swimming in the sea of tranquility, and all of these images started to come together.”
At Land of gestures, there are stories that are told, but it’s not personal.
“I feel like every song is a different character,” says Duchovny. “When I sing or write lyrics, I feel like it’s not necessarily me. It’s that other guy or a voice starting to speak. Yes, it is coming from inside me, but the translation of the feeling into words and music means that it is not me.
He adds, “When a song works, it actually speaks for the listener. It is not a puzzle to be decoded. I want to make room for you if I can. These are my favorite songs… when someone was leaving the room.
Reflecting on the protests and the pandemic, this is further proof of how important this “piece” is in songs, Duchovny says. “I think a good song can fit anytime, anywhere,” he says. “If you think of big protest songs like ‘For What It’s Worth’, it’s specific to things that happened in LA, but it doesn’t matter. There is something in the spirit of the song that translates, and you don’t have to be a Christian to be moved by “Amazing Grace”, so I hope my songs take on new meaning.
Although Duchovny started later, he still has more stories to tell. Ready to star in upcoming Showtime series based on her fourth book Really like lightning, Duchovny also finished filming the film at the helm of Judd Apatow The bubble. Always as much on the screen as his own stories, Land of gestures is part of Duchovny’s continuing script.
“I am fascinated by the idea of gestures, signs and meanings, especially in the days of social media where everyone is pointing out and pictures are analyzed and moments become extremely important pictures,” Duchovny explains. “It was in my mind, but I don’t think it really influences the songs. I don’t think my songs speak now. They are just human.
Now three albums in, Duchovny finally considers himself a songwriter and is aware of his subject matter.
“I write rock and roll, popular songs, radio songs or whatever you want to call this business, but they’re usually not written by 60-year-olds,” Duchovny explains. “Rock and roll is about getting laid, having fun and drinking, and breaking your heart. It is the soundtrack of our youth. I wasn’t writing back then, so I can only write what’s going on for me now, in my head and in my heart.