Late last year, pop culture scientists unearthed something startling and unexpected: a third Olsen sister, who like the twins, is an actress. Today, the Guardian made a similar discovery: There is also a third Gyllenhaal. And he is a folk singer.
Sam says he had a "rough time" on his path of self-discovery during high school, and even abandoned music for sports in an attempt to fit in. When he did return to his muse, he started writing a lot of songs with "mission statements." After graduation, he attended Elon University, a liberal arts school in North Carolina, where he became a fan of a cappella singing.
"Music has given me a place in this world," he says solemnly in the doc. In a series of very serious observations that might have been better suited for 3 a.m. chill-outs in the freshman dorm, he states watching someone perform music is "the closest way into their soul" and that "music has no purpose if it's not affecting them or moving them in some way... art is emotion."
Gyllenhaal's bio on Reverb Nation describes his sound as blending the "smooth tone of Amos Lee and the bluesy grit of the Black Keys," which is a little generous. Nine songs are available for streaming, including "Nothing But Time," which sounds like OneRepublic meets Lady Antebellum, and "Jack With Sweet Tea," a toothless attempt at swaggering southern rock. "Raindrop," the track posted on YouTube, features Gyllenhaal finger-picking a circular riff on an acoustic guitar while crooning about a failed relationship: "You get up and you go right into the raging sea/I want to be a falling raindrop in the current of the river of your soul."
Sam may be the only Gyllenhaal making a go at a music career -- the Guardian (who erroneously reported Sam is the younger brother of Jake and Maggie) says five labels are going to check out his Wednesday night show in London -- but Jake has shown off his pipes at a Rufus Wainwright concert and on Saturday Night Live, and even auditioned for Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge by singing Stephen Sondheim. Maggie memorably broke into song in Happy Endings and contributed three songs to the film's soundtrack. If Sam really didn't want to get compared to his very famous cousins, he might have considered pursing dance (or, based on his lyrics, a career with Hallmark).
[Update: In an earlier version of this post, we misidentified Sam Gyllenhaal as Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal's younger brother based on the Guardian story; we have since corrected the error.]
[Photo: Reverb Nation]
- Sam Gyllenhaal