Dear Blanca

The transcendent nature of music is completely unpredictable. When an artist puts themselves out there, we mean really lays themselves bare with risk, and it redefines your experience as a listener, one of the most joyfully frustrating experiences can take place – the inability to give the music its adequate respect. What can you do beyond preaching about it from the mountains and supporting it in all manners possible? Dear Blanca’s EP To Tell a Half-Truth has us in this position.

If you missed our write-up of "Out of View," here’s the truncated story behind the EP’s creation: “It’s a posthumous collaboration between bassist Cam Powell’s uncle Scott Crane and the band’s lead singer Dylan Dickerson. After Crane had passed, Powell’s family discovered a book of poetry written during the last years of Crane’s life.” Seeing as how we can’t imagine the nerves that might be induced by engaging in such a task, all we can do is reflect on the final outcome, which you need to add to your collection right now. Seriously – before you read any further, you need to go to Dear Blanca’s bandcamp to pick it up.

“Preface – Changing Ribbons” begins the album with a minimal arrangement that eventually builds into a seismic swell that are boiling moments quick to be tempered.  You hear lines such as “change is the enemy of love, and one’s victim is the heart” that strike a realm of honesty where mistakes can be admitted. It’s a pirouette inducing musicality that drizzles musical embellishments in like a master of marionettes dictating the actions from above. Lines between the poetry of Crane and addendums of Dear Blanca blur. This is an unchanging theme carried on in the aforementioned “Out of View.”

The emotional stakes behind To Tell a Half-Truth are so obvious that they don’t need to be stated, but when you hear “Why am I crying again?” on “I Am Beside Me,” there’s an unrivaled lucidity. Moments are being thought about – dancing again, times where someone was left waiting, the ghosts of memories unshakeable. A momentous bass drum kick ushers in the rush of panic that is addressed within the lyrics in a song that is essentially three mini-acts. From there, it’s a fitting scene on “Some Hearts Never Heal” when you can’t tell if the sun is rising or setting by the way the rhythm hangs in the sky. A heaviness compounds one weight after another, and you just need to know when it’s time to call an end to certain things. Out of all of the tracks, it might be this one that contains the EP’s matter-of-fact nature the best.

A chilling hymnal that captures that slight optimism of an antiquated religious service wraps the EP up. “Aftermath” compares the fallout of love to that of war by going into specific details and comparisons – survivors, death, joy, mourning, the wounded, innocent bystanders, etc. And it asks the question of who will be around when the light is turned off. It could mean goodnight or goodbye, but hopefully it doesn’t. Joey Smith