DAVID DUCHOVNY NEW YORK LISTENING PARTY DELIVERED Sorry no photos or videos or sound clips. The album does not officially release untill February 9. So let’s respect the artists and producers.
PHOTOS from the event to be posted HERE in the next 48 hours
Today was special.
I am so moved by these songs I just have to share some thoughts.
DAVID DUCHOVNY NEW YORK LISTENING PARTY DELIVERS
@waltfrasier @lauricef @duchovniacs
David Duchovny was joined on stage today with Pat McCusker, Colin Lee, Mitchell Stewart and Sebastian Modak, interviewed my Monique McQueen (Great Job moderating the Q&A) as we all got to listen to the entire new album, EVERY THIRD THOUGHT. The listening party attendees all left feeling expectations were surpassed.
Kerry Lee announced the day’s activities while Sam Platt played DJ, throwing down three tracks at a time with question and answer sessions in between.
With all the songs, David feels he’s writing country songs, because that’s how he sounds alone with his guitar. Monique says these songs pass the “campfire test”. You can break them down to singers and guitar and they hold up.
First up was HALF LIFE. Laurice remarks that the tempo seems a bit livelier – More energetic. This was the first of many that seemed ready for radio play. At the very minimum, ready for movie soundtrack. On tour, David will joke this song is about science. “Unconditional Love Decays….”.
David says he had a David Bowie feel in mind orginally.
The words are a bit sad. Half Life appears to refer to half of your life los tin a break up but leaving with you empty – “with nothing” – inside. But the music driving the story is also about moving past and picking up the pieces and working though the worst of it.
For those that have heard this song on tour, you are in for a treat. The guys (Pat, Colin, Mitch, Sebastian and other – Hanna rocking some strings, etc.) really had some freedom to play. If you listen carefully, the music is almost playful with subtle rhythmic and countrapuntal flourishes hiding – coyly sneaking through – beneath the surface of lead vocals, intros and bridges.
I had a question about the writing of the song. When the song is live, David appears to want to take the middle of the chorus to a V chord (B chord in the Key of E). David will often drop G# at the end of the word indivisible to a F# which would imply in some he wants the chord to go to the B (D# F#). In most music a phase will end with a strong V-I (5-1). My question was “Did the song original move to a B chord there? I feel David is trying to pull the band down to a 5 chord”
David responds, “You think I’m dragging them down?” (Laughs)
Pat, Colin and I discussed among ourselves about the music theory. David makes a cat sound and says “perhaps you fellas should take this outside…” Long story short we had WAY TOO MUCH FUN TODAY.
EVERY THIRD THOUGHT in contrast is a tad slower and more in the pocket from the live version we have heard the past two years – originally heard by fans in Europe 2016. The arrangement is slightly more exposed, revealing some hip rhythmic hits and vocal harmonies. This was always my vote for the album’s title track. David was pushing for Strangers (in the Sacred Heart).
The final song of the first set was MAYBE I CAN’T. We need this album TODAY to fully digest the new stuff in depth.
– Strangers in the Sacred Heart
– Someone Else’s Girl
All three of these songs are known to us from live concerts over the past two years. All three are similar and familiar, but each had their moments where, again, the band got to play. Especially Someone Else’s Girl, which David attributed to Pat from start to finish, taking the lead on the arrangement. This is the “feel good” track with it’s bouncy reggae feel. Love me some Pat! Laurice says this may be her favorite tune on the album.
David recounted his story of writing STRANGER while gigging in Paris last year, tying his own father’s story to the folks praying for strangers at Sacre Couer. We love Hanna Reid’s violins. Laurice calls it baroque pop, mixing in the classical sounds with the pop rock. If you have not caught Hanna, live, find her in your town. There were also some cathedral chimes and other interesting sounds that helped painted the picture.
David says MO is about over consumption with influences of Fleetwood Mac.MO is familiar, but you can tell David and the band put a lot of work into cleaning up the arrangements and kicking out near perfection. Pat has a very sweet guitar solo I think fans are going to dig.
David went further to say, songs are less of a statement, and more of a cloud, “what ever that means.”
Q: What was the process of writing this album, compared to the first?
A: David said it was more collaborative. Sebastian (Percussionist) said there are a lot more chances, especially with percussion. The other guys elaborated on finding a safe place to speak up and out for ideas.
Q: Does doing all the music and concert touring feel surreal?
David: I wouldn’t say surreal. No, it feels good. If feels… (Audience supplies “Organic” – giggles) Why do I keep seeing that “Organic” in quotes (Finger quote gesture).
“ORGANIC” Is that a meme? David asked the band.
David forgot “ORGANIC” comes from his answer from a previous Facebook Q&A and it stuck. There were unasked questions of possible double meanings in the following looks but it was left at that.
SET THREE may have been my favorite, with two new songs that blew my mind.
WHEN THE WHISTLE BLOWS started and right away the whole crowd is bobbing heads, tapping feet. It is an amazing song. About half way through I lean over to Laurice, “I think this is my new fave.” Angry Blues Rock song was also the favorite for some of the band.
SPIRAL is a song written by Pat and Colin. David admits a little jealousy when folks say this is their favorite tune from their album. Not sure if it was my third homemade pineapple vodka (homemade by restaurant, I did not sneak in booze), being caught up in the moment, or the song was just that amazing, I started to tear up. I leaned to Laurice. Not hearing me, she shoves pen/paper in my hand. I write “FUCKING AWESOME!!!” She exclaims, “you wasted space on her diminishing note paper space.” The moment was otherwise beyond words.
The set was rounded by another concert tour favorite, Roman Coin. Again, like some of the earlier tunes, this was just a cleaner, better mixed version of the song we have come to love.
SET FOUR has two new songs to us and one that is relatively new, after David debuted Marble Sun in Vancouver last fall.
JERICHO is a bit sad. This tune hit close to home with Laurice as David discussed it’s connection with his father. When the album releases I will give a more in depth review of the song. Hearing it for the first time, I was just taking it in.
LAST FIRST TIME to be fair did not get my full focus and attention. Mainly because I was reflecting deeply on the third set. Again, this was the first time we’ve heard this track and I would like a second listen before further discussion.
MARBLE SUN is one of the new songs that has popped into my head often in the past months since Vancouver. My only criticism today was the percussion track seemed to overpower the song. This is a simple mix issue. The song otherwise is a perfect end. I am not sure you call this a concept album. Every song works as a single, but there are some stylistic themes.
David said this song was an idea from Colin and many ways the most collaborative song on the album, and perhaps his new favorite.
IN CONCLUSION – To put today into perspective
Most came to HELL OR HIGHWATER because of love for David’s work as Fox Mulder or Hank Moody. At least half of the fans at early concerts didn’t even know they were attending an actual concert.
“AN EVENING WITH DAVID DUCHOVNY? What is he doing, Stand-Up Comedy” –this is a direct quote from at least three people I encountered during the first year of concerts.
When I first heard the early release of WHEN THE TIME COMES, I was working on some contracts and Laurice was playing the track. The first lyric I really heard was “Jack and Jill, ran out on their bill…” WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS was my thought.
I did not take this at all seriously until May 12, 2015 at the Cutting Room. Many have heard the story of Laurice, myself and 10 other fans hanging out for pizza, lining up crazy early, sitting right in front of a barefoot Pat and later a singing, dancing, tambourine beating and shaking Gillian Anderson.
I bought an album that night. While everyone else was talking/tweeting about THE KISS (Cue melodramatic music) Listened to it a few times. Two days later I started this blog.
The DUCHOVNIACS were born, or at least something more official. (It was a slow journey with 25 years of fans slowing finding each other at events and expanding. 25-30 concerts later – and New Zealand / Australia bound in three weeks for 6 more (Skipping Wellington for some more time in Melbourne) – I am a bigger fan of the music (as it’s own entity) than ever..
For most fans, HELL OR HIGHWATER was about David Duchovny getting to play and share an experience with his friends and fans. A comiccon meet & greet on crack. Something to hold us over between X-Files and other projects. Out of the millions of X-Files fans around the world, there may be a few thousand that really give the music it’s fair shake to date.
EVERY THIRD THOUGHT will change all that. This no longer some celebrity doing the band thing. This is a legit BAND that happens to have David Duchovny’s celebrity status to open doors and sell tickets. This album deserves attention beyond the X-Files and Californication fandom.
I challenge everyone that will take the time to read this to do a blind test. Play a few of these new songs for friends. Make them guess the band name. These songs stand on their own, many ready for 2018 radio play. Most ready for movie soundtracks and other commercial use. All ready to rock Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne, Sydney, Wollogong, New Castle and Brisbane next month.
See you down under!!!
PS- Super excited to hear some of the acoustic tracks coming. As much as I love the original album, the songs written by David and shaped by the band have become so much more as the musical relationship has grown over the past 4 years now (if you include initial writing, rehearsing and recording times).
THANKS must be given to Brad Davidson and Kerry Lee. If you have not met these two, they are usually at the door or running around doing the jobs of 3-4 each.