Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from Desert Life. I Don’t Wanna Know is released today, 14th July 2023 and tells the tale of how a man’s heart sank as he received word of his ex-girlfriend’s newfound love, and the pain of her moving on has pierced his soul like a jagged dagger.

A quick drum fill leads the listener straight into a country-feeling instrumental section with some gorgeous pedal steel solo moments. There is plenty of instrumentation in the background coming and going to keep the listener interested, with some good use of panning on the strummed instruments.

When the vocals come in, we were reminded a little of a cross between Travelling Wilburys and Notting Hillbillies. There is some great use of incidental pedal steel and we think we caught a faint sound of Hammond in the background filling out the sound.

By the time you reach the chorus, layered vocals are added in and the song takes on a really positive vibe. A brief breakdown section with tremolo guitar leads into another solo section. The pedal steel (provided by Jon Graboff) is a real standout feature of this track, and a wise decision of the band to have Graboff involved.

When the second verse comes in, the song returns to the same format as the first verse. We’d have liked to have seen just a touch more development here – an extra instrument or shaker, perhaps. With this in mind, it may be a track to be pitched for use in the background of a TV show or movie. We’d strongly recommend Desert Life follow up on possible opportunities in this area to garner them a wider audience.

I Don’t Wanna Know is a very enjoyable and comfortable Country-style song from band members Chris Swales and Tom Jordan who met at an Open Mic night in their home town of Tenby, Wales.

Ideas from our ears

A small cut around 200-250Hz could reduce some slightly ‘muddy’ tones, clearing the mix up nicely. During the gaps between the vocal lines in the first verse, there is not a lot happening in the mid-range, making the vocal seem a little too dominant to our ears. Some additional instrumentation to fill that gap would help. The use of the pedal steel works perfectly here later in the track. A single-band compressor with some make-up gain on the top two octaves would help increase the overall brightness too. Lastly, a light compressor/limiter and maybe 3Db of make-up gain would add a touch more warmth and fullness as well as a small boost in volume. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

I Don’t Wanna Know is It is the first single from Desert Life’s upcoming album Let It All Pass, due for release in September 2023. A strong and positive Country/Alt Country track for fans of Neil Young, Travelling Wilburys, and Notting Hillbillies.