Liner Notes: Blanco White’s EP ‘Time Can Prove You Wrong’ suspends time and place somewhere in Andalusia


Illustration by Gemma DeCetra

Edwards released his latest EP, “Time Can Prove You Wrong,” on Feb. 3.

Tabi Parent, Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor

Blanco White’s somewhat redundant stage name does little to allay fears that his music will be similarly uninspired. But if his over a million monthly Spotify listeners are any indication, there is something compelling — or at least something that translates well through AirPods — about the music Blanco White creates. 

Londoner Josh Edwards, the man behind Blanco White, is committed to proving that there is more to him than first meets the eye. Just as you wouldn’t expect a name as superfluous as Blanco White to have some hidden meaning — it does, by the way; check out Sevillan poet Joseph Blanco White — you wouldn’t expect a man with a name as English as Josh Edwards to make such ethereal, Spanish-influenced music. 

Edwards released his latest EP, “Time Can Prove You Wrong,” on Feb. 3. Over the course of just five songs, he dolefully dissolves all concepts of time and place with his enigmatically haunting voice and Andalusian-inspired guitar-plucking skills. Clocking in at a mere 19 minutes and 14 seconds, Edwards proves that a record doesn’t need to be lengthy to leave an impact. 

The EP’s title track, “Time Can Prove You Wrong,” sounds like cracking open a time capsule on an uninhabited Spanish knoll. While Edwards studied guitar in Cádiz, Spain, his knowledge of the charango, an Andean instrument, is what shines through. Edwards’ strumming is as untamed and wild as the “ocean quiet under (his) skin” that he croons about in the lyrics. But, it’s also controlled and steady, giving the song a heartbeat-like throughline. Combine that sound with the hoofbeat-esque drums and “Time Can Prove You Wrong” unleashes longing clad in ambiguously Spanish and Latin American-tinged beats. 

If the EP’s first track takes place on a misty Spanish hill, then its second song, “Treasure I Once Held,” must be set in the early morning on a beach in Cádiz. Once again, the charango is the star of the show on this track, punctuated by a lazy cymbal drum that helps it take on a relaxed, almost tropical sound reminiscent of sunlight glistening on the early morning sea. Edwards is unhurried as he sings the song’s pensive lyrics, proving that most things are better when done slowly. It’s the type of song that makes you want to leisurely sip coffee on a balcony in the summer and drink in how stunning our world is. 

The following two tracks exemplify what writing songs about the good old halcyon days is supposed to look like. Every artist has their own take on nostalgia, childhood, memory and the past, and Blanco White is no different. “Sail On By” and “Lesson All Along” are Edwards’ plaintive exercises in reconciling with an immaterial past lost in time. What Edwards searches for in the past is cryptically camouflaged in his abstract lyrics, making his music all the more captivating. 

Edwards is nothing if not consistent. His songs are instantly recognizable, occasionally feeling formulaic to a fault. And there are, of course, questions to be raised about a London boy’s penchant for dabbling so deeply in Latin American and Spanish music traditions. Critics have called into question Edwards’ authority to pursue such Latin and European musical traditions so deeply. Still, there is something comforting about an artist who knows their sound, has perfected their craft and has respect for traditions other than their own. 

While the first four songs in the EP launch listeners back in proverbial time, the EP’s closer, “Who’s Gonna Love You Now?” aptly looks ahead to the “days you can’t see coming.” Edwards makes no claims to what listeners can expect from him in the future, but he guarantees he’ll be “there by (their) side.” And can’t we all use a little consistency in our lives?

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @TabithaParent12

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