Album Review: Blanco White – Tarifa

Tarifa is the second album from UK singer-songwriter Blanco White, real name Josh Edwards. Named for the southern Spanish province where the album was written, the collection acts both as a transport mechanism to that sirocco-swept coast and as an introduction to the Blanco White sound for us.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo by Sequoia Ziff

As you would expect from an album inspired by southern Spain, Tarifa gives us touches of flamenco guitar, local instruments such as the charango and Spanish language lyrics. Yet, there are more universally-recognised themes going on across its eleven tracks too, including the concept of healing and of escape.

The album’s journey opens with Giordano’s Dream, Pt I, a team up with MAVICA. As listener, we are struck instantly by its dreaminess and there is an undertow of melancholia, particularly in Josh’s expressive vocals. Josh cites Sufjan Stevens as an inspiration and you get that right from the off. His music is wonderfully immersive. Pt II follows, expanding this audible universe with lush, cinematic elements.

Tell Me That You Need Me gives us some classic, soulful folk instrumentals with pleading vocals and lyrics. Previously released single Una Noche Más is a delicate, acoustic gem before title track Tarifa provides a mid-album highlight with its descriptive lyrics and mystical, soaring arrangement.

Green Eyes is an intimate and moody moment that sits at the heart of the album. Don’t Go Hiding Now is mesmerising folk blues. Silver Beaches is crystalline and laidback with an emotional depth to its lyrical story. We Had A Place In That Garden gives us a twinkling, natural soundscape and philosophical lyrics. Cornered Tiger is a beautifully psychedelic trip before Riding On The Wind closes the album with an understated yet powerful release.

Tarifa was co-produced by Blanco White and Nubian Twist’s Pilo Adami, with additional production from Bullion. You can give it a listen below.