Dominant Legs is Ryan Lynch, native San Franciscan. It appears that Dominant Legs are an actual thing, not quite akin to being left or right-handed, but a finding of unnatural strength in one leg over the other. Lynch says, though, the name came from something weirdly blurted at the beach looking at a friend’s sexy gams pre-skinnydipping in Newport Beach, California. “Sexy” is his word, used completely directly, like bursting attraction was all he felt and he was not ashamed. People don’t say sexy too much these days—it’s an adjective for Cindy Crawford and Tom Selleck, Pepsi cans and Corvettes. But Lynch is honest in his word choice, reflecting nice legs’ supple, inherent grace in his songs. Dominant Legs, Lynch’s solo project, where he sings, plays guitar (acoustic and non), synthesizer and drum machines, is delicate pop, quivering and lush. These are his first demos, his first stabs at the real thing, and the songs benefit from that label, as though by removing pressure to preliminarily produce, he’s given the music a loose freedom. That curious creativity manifests in handdrums, echoed falsetto, brass-imitating keys and jazzy bass. In exploratory spirit, Dominant Legs resembles Arthur Russell, touching on dance music, folk and rock. “About My Girls” starts with a clomping drum machine, quickly met with shining guitar, then a light touch and keyboard and druggy handclaps—it’s simultaneous meticulous and woozy. I just can’t see to forget about my girls he sings, and not knowing the rest of the lyrics, that could be a good or bad thing, lamentation just as plausible as savory memory. “Young at Love and Life” has the same hard drums and liquid synth, but is worked up tenfold with funky bass and guitar, like Lynch was raised on Archie Bell and dream sequences. We’ve been keeping our Dominant Legs tracks under our hat for a few weeks now, a special secret. But the other night, walking home from a birthday party, we were listening to “About My Girls” when something flashed at our feet. It was our feet, reflected in a big broken mirror on the sidewalk, white frame intact, propped up against the sidewalk. It seemed like it should seem cliche, willfully sappy, and maybe it was. But that seemed like the point, of the moment, of Dominant Legs, as if you embrace the emotion full steam, bleary-eyed and sentimental as it may be, all the negative associations wash up like vapor and you’re left with the gem of real feeling. If you like these tracks, we’ll have more in the coming days, and if you’re on the West Coast you can catch Dominant Legs opening up for Girls soon.
Download: Dominant Legs, “Young at Love and Life”
Download: Dominant Legs, “About My Girls”