His latest album, Gestureland, was released in 2021 during the pandemic. While the feelings on Gestureland are intimate, the music is expansive: It evokes 70s California pop, alternative rock, folk and country. In its own right, it’s timeless music.
“I wouldn’t go about imitating anyone,” says Duchovny. “But for me it’s about classic rock, the British Invasion, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Aimee Mann — you fall in love with certain sounds.”
With his two earlier releases (2015’s Hell or Highwater and 2017’s Every Third Thought) Duchovny earned critical acclaim; Allmusic called his music “eloquent, alt-rock-kissed country-folk in the vein of Wilco and the Wallflowers,” while the Boston Globe praised Duchovny’s voice, noting “he sings with a parched resonance and just a hint of rasp. He is rather heartfelt.”
Duchovny — a songwriter on record with a healthy sense of humor in real life — nods at the compliments but follows his own modest methodology: “I’ll finish a record, then I’ll sit and listen, and go, yeah! That’s really nice melodic stuff. What else do you want?”
Helping achieve all these sounds: Colin Lee, Mitch Stewart and Pat McCusker, three former college friends from the Berklee College of Music and longtime studio musicians who have worked with Duchovny on all of his records. “David is so joyful about making music, and his lyrical approach and his way of looking at songs is like poetry,” says Lee. “He creates stuff that excites us as musicians.”
Since the release of Gestureland, Duchovny released a new novel, Truly Like Lightning, a novella, The Reservoir, and co-authored (with illustrator Phillip Sevy) the graphic novel Kepler. He has also adapted his own novel, Bucky F*cking Dent, to film, premiering it at the Tribeca Film Festival.
But like all good musicians, he’s anxious to get back on the road and perform these new songs live. “David has so much energy and charisma, it’s easy for him to carry the show,” says his bandmate Stewart. “I always get such a kick playing live,” adds the singer. “We make our show into a whole evening, and take people on a journey. I can’t wait to do a version of this album for a tour.”