While most people know him for his acting career, and as a director, the multi-talented David Duchovny is also a novelist and a fully capable musician. Yes, a musician. His debut album, Hell or Highwater, arrived in 2015, and his sophomore release, Every Third Thought, was released three years later. Now it’s time for lucky number three, Gestureland, which is set to be released on Friday, August 20, 2021 through Westbound Kvd.
Gestureland comes with 12 songs and lasts for 51 minutes. Throughout this time, Duchovny takes you on a ride through the titular “Gestureland,” providing a languid tour from coast to coast and through the mountains. It is a beautiful trip, one that allows you to sit back, relax, and simply enjoy the view.
First, we roll into “Nights Are Harder These Days,” a track that begins with distorted guitar before the vocals set in. Initially, Duchovny sounds as though he is off in the distance, slowly moving closer. Somewhat conversely, on “Holding Patterns” his vocals are loud and clear, at the same volume as the music. Mellow and easygoing, the arrangements throughout each of the tracks are beautifully done and devoid of any effects. This allows the music to come across as clean and down-to-earth, grounding the audience as we partake of the journey.
But Duchovny mixes it up, too. For example, “Everything Is Noise” is a catchy song that will get you singing along thanks to a chorus that is guaranteed to get stuck in one’s head. Similarly, the beautifully slow “Tessera” has a chorus that will also get stuck in your thoughts. Meanwhile, the music to “Layin’ on the Tracks” is so rich with instrumentation that it nearly drowns the vocals. The mood is not sullied, however, and “Playing at the Same Dream” delivers a joyfulness meant to inspire a good headspace.
Each of the songs are about day-to-day life and the thoughts that cross our minds everyday. This, however, is only one of the many reasons why the album, as a whole, sounds so natural and wraps the listener in comfort. And while the music is certainly soft and languid, it never gets boring or redundant, holding you in its thrall from the very first second until the very last note has vanished into thin air. In this, Duchovny’s singer-songwriter approach to his material is flawless, with a universal appeal that should delight everyone, everywhere.
All in all, Duchovny’s Gestureland is a smooth collection, one that will no doubt inspire the mind to wander. With silky melodies intended to relax the audience, the album simultaneously manages to fade into the background and stay present; at all times connected to your senses. It’s this ease that promises us that everything will be alright, and nothing is as bad as it might seem in the moment. A beautiful gift sent from Duchovny with passion, Cryptic Rock gives the pleasing Gestureland 5 out of 5 stars.