As the frontman and creative force behind Dominant Legs, Ryan Lynch has made a name for himself by perfecting the art of the up-tempo pop song. Tracks like “Hoop of Love” and “Young at Love and Life,” followed a tried-and-true formula—springy, sharp guitar play blanketed by warm synths and Lynch’s inviting, cooing vocals.
For his contribution to The Bay Bridged 10th Anniversary Compilation, Lynch takes a different approach, but the results are just as rewarding.
“Sashay,” starts off with a deliberate, countrified drumbeat, the delicate plinking of keys and the soft strumming of a nylon-string guitar. The pace is subtle and subdued, a contrast to the jaunty renditions that decorated Dominant Legs’ excellent debut album, Invitation. Lynch’s basking vocals provide the perfect complement to the humble arrangements, and he proves that no matter what the tempo, he’s still a romantic—reminding the song’s subject that, “When I listen to your heart/I hear it pounding.” At the 2:10 mark, “Sashay” begins to bear some of the trademarks of Dominant Legs, as a wave of synths ushers the track to its closing. It’s a testament to Lynch’s songwriting skills that he can create a recording that is markedly different from his earlier work, yet still just as immediate and recognizable.
Along with being the sole permanent member of Dominant Legs, Lynch has also played in San Francisco-based bands like Girls and the Magic Bullets, so his imprint and influence on the local music scene has been indelible. After spending a few years outside of the Bay Area, he recently moved back to San Francisco and revived the Dominant Legs moniker after a lengthy period of semi-dormancy. The band is now a duo (Lynch and drummer/longtime pal Noah Brodsky), and they’ve begun to record new songs and increase their number of live performances.
As “Sashay” shows, Lynch can still write an effortlessly-gorgeous tune, and his presence back in San Francisco not only bodes well for the future of Dominant Legs, but also for the vibrancy of the local music scene.