Little things matter in music
Riding the wake of his previous release, Every Third Thought, in 2018, known American actor and singer-songwriter David Duchovny has released his third album titled Gestureland. Duchovny deviates from his previous work to touch on personal revelations he has had throughout the greater part of the last year.
Duchovny examines political changes, significant events and other issues which are masked by a melancholic sound. “Layin’ On The Tracks” was released early during the 2020 election, serving as a sort of statement to add his personal flair to the songwriting itself. In an interview with American Songwriter, Duchovny stated, “I just wanted to go on record in a way that was both personal and political.” It’s apparent that these issues afflicted him in significant ways with a closer listen.
“Tessera” leans to be one of the more emotional tracks, stretching chorus notes so thin, leaving space for lingering piano riffs and production elemental magic. “Call Me When You Land” follows this, as well with the sporadic appearance of a guitar intertwined with the bridge and chorus. Little production tricks like these are crucial for this music. These little elements are one of the better parts of this music. They weave themselves after a slow verse or at a lull and take the song in a new direction. “Mind Of Winter” excels at this with the addition of a few horns and some might. The song climbs and falls with the boost of a brass section. While it is one of the more unoriginal songs on Gestureland, “Pacific Coast Highway” is saved through a background organ. Before it lacked depth, though, the organ adds the extra push to make it potentially stand out again.
Duchovny has a strange division of moods within this album. Some could be recognized as easy-listening rock, mixed and matched with surf rock background noise. “Playing At The Same Dream” shines as an example of this with its ever-additive bass lines and guitar layers. Though, some tracks categorize as slow rock, moping into those thoughts you might have blocked yourself from thinking. There seems to be a mental health element within this album, but it is for the listener to decide what it does for them.
The seemingly never-ending detriments from the past year have brought everyone a new set of issues, but also a new skill set to deal with them. Duchovny’s album Gestureland tackles both ends of this, but the songwriting seems almost incomplete. Little elements in the music are what carry this album to the end, as it is the little things that seem to matter most.