If there’s one regret David Duchovny has, it’s that he never wrote in his 20s and 30s. Acting his way throughout the ’90s, reaching cult status as Fox Mulder on the The X-Files before a seven-season run on Californication, Duchovny never considered himself a writer, much less a songwriter. A later bloomer in the medium, at the age of 55 Duchovny released his debut album Hell or Highwater and first novel Holy Cow in 2015. Still significantly younger than his father, Amram, who published his first book while he was in his 70s, Duchovny insists “It’s never too late,” releasing his third album Gestureland (GMG / Westbound Kyd).
Following the release of his second album Every Third Thought in 2018, Duchovny found himself with more than 20 songs after an unexpected wave of writing, then made it a more intentional process. “I didn’t ever want it to feel like a job, but I also feel like I’m an experienced enough creator of things to know that you can’t just rely on 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 pick up my guitar and tell myself to write a song. If you’re lucky enough to get the momentum, there’s nothing better, but if you have to sit down when it’s not going well—that’s where the real glory comes. Anybody can write when they’re inspired.”
Unlike Every Third Thought, which featured songs written before his debut, Gestureland is a collection of completely new songs, which Duchovny recorded after a brief pause during the pandemic, along 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 has any kind of complete newness to it,” says Duchovny. “When I first started writing the songs, all of a sudden, I had this rush of 20, 25 songs in a short span. It was a new forum, and I had all these things I want to say, and all these chord progressions that were new to me.”