Padang Food Tigers & Sigbjørn Apeland – Bumblin’ Creed (Northern Spy Records, 2016)


We’ve officially entered Autumn now, the bittersweet month. Summer’s over and the grey, lifeless harshness of Winter will soon be upon us, but the world loves to leave us with a last flush before it crumbles. Golden light and leaves will soon grace the crisp air and our pining for warmth will begin; it’s here at the crossroads that Bumblin’ Creed finds itself, caught between the relaxed throes of Summer and the wistful changeover period into the quiet solitude of contemplative Winter.

It’s slow to come to life in “Saroyan’s Appeal”, creaking and groaning almost laboriously into existence as the accordion drone swells begin to lift the sound, sweet guitar pickings accompanying them into a tired new Autumnal day. It’s homely, contented in many ways, slowly breathing itself back into being with each drawing breath of the accordion, unwilling to leave Summer behind.

“Ishmael’s Place” begins a descent into the pool of wistfulness, its steel strings slowly bending into being, awash in their own reverb and breathy drones as we drift lazily past memories of Summers since departed, places of our youth looked back upon fondly in its dry and older sound. Coupled with “Barely A Breath In Your Parenthesis” it makes for a potently morose mid-album couplet, cruising accordion drone lines weighing heavy on our souls, guitar strings lightly offsetting the melancholia in their quiet and humble little pickings of reminiscence.

Change and forward movement is always an inevitability though, and we aren’t permitted to languish in these self-pitying movements for long. “Powys’ Pocket Paperweight Game” brings a light and almost playful life back in its elegant simplicity, just the little things bringing some small measure of enjoyment that allows the banjo to cut across the placid and apathetic drones. It helps the organic drive of penultimate beauty “Flamsbana”; field recordings of everyday life as we reenter reality back from our travels secure us to the ground, the sweet and loose guitar chords serenading our journey, a few humble piano strokes weighing the measure of our sadness upon returning home.

Being caught in this emotional limbo, finding oneself in between seemingly irreconcilable feelings is only natural, closer “Twin Hither” tells us as much. As Autumn sees itself teetering on the edge of life and death, of Sun and snow, so can our hearts. Perhaps the only way to move forwards in life is to graciously move through these troughs so as to bring Summer back all the sooner. Autumn’s decay of the good times is unfortunate, but it’s only ever as transient as the other seasons too.

The album will be available on the 8th for Cassette Store Day, and the 14th for digital copies.