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Desert Life - Sphere (Tune Doctor Records)

14 October 2023

In a world where many artists seem to be looking to break new ground, fuse genres together that have no business being in each other’s company, and make their name by being radical, different or radically different, it is great to stumble upon artists who know how things really work. Chris Swales, with the assistance of the multi-talented Tom Jordon, operating under the banner of Desert Life, has mastered the art of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy.

They understand the merit of treading the established musical paths, in his case, a rootsy, singer-songwriter realm, and that the key isn’t always to be strikingly different but rather to be undeniably superior to the rest. And let me tell you, Desert Life is that in spades, in no short supply. You don’t have to change the format, you just have to concentrate on the quality and allure of theatre of songwriting. Which they do.

“Sphere,” the latest slice of seductive sonics, gently sways like a spacious, sun-kissed acoustic ballad, infusing a hint of freshness into this familiar musical trajectory but also providing solace for those who find comfort in their well-trodden sonic havens and the safety of their go-to comfort zones. And that is the best of both worlds if you ask me, and as you are reading this, you sort of did.

“Sphere” is simply enchanting. It’s an elegant tapestry of soft beats and spaciously strummed guitars, wandering sonics, seasoned vocal nuances, and the melancholic echo of a trumpet (I think) metamorphosed into the soulful howls of desert winds whispering through their melodies.

Understatement, my friends, is where the magic lies.

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