Creeping Time: "When I'm Gone/Talk About Heaven"


By George Bass | 14 June 2012

Like Mötley Crüe, Creeping Time isn’t just the name of the band but the description. They’ve spent years recording their latest folk-blues LP, some members becoming fathers, some orphans. It’s as though last album Cheap American Lager (2006) was a product description too, and the whole band’s spent the last six years crawling outside the studio, trying to remember which plant pot they hid the key in.

If that’s the case then they’ve been sinking stronger things than Pearl Light as The Smolder Sessions has an experimental edge to it, demonstrated by this eight-minute single written by guitarist Mike Spaly and Boston roots-rocker Tim Gearan. Built around twangy, toe-tapping bluegrass, “When I’m Gone” follows a yokel as he walks out on his wife, his howl of “Will you still love me when I’m gone / When the world’s turned upside down” implying mischief, like he’s left a time bomb in the grain silo. The nastiness is held at bay with mournful violins, and then swept aside as choirs kick in for the changeover. Gearan obviously has other ideas on how to write heartbreak, and rather than jig merrily in the harvest sun he lets the choristers and strings rise up, like our hero’s just grown wings through his dungarees. If only walking out on your family was always this cheerful even single people would try it.