Putting turmoil to harmony
WHILE singer-songwriters often struggle to find new material after their first EP, Guineafowl had the opposite problem.
The Australian artist’s life fell apart, just as his career took off with the release of his debut EP, Hello Anxiety, in 2011.
‘‘Fortunately my life went really, really s---, right after the release of my first EP, actually directly around that time,’’ Guineafowl, aka Sam Yeldham, says.
‘‘It was the breakdown of a few relationships that were more than pretty important.’’
Guineafowl (pictured) says it was hard enough to go through, but on top of that he was on the road touring, and intensely – in 2011 he played 240 shows across Australia in under a year.
‘‘You’re meant to be thinking and feeling about that EP and my life was disintegrating.’’
Guineafowl says he was keen to chronicle this time, channelling it into music, but he couldn’t finish the songs.
‘‘I had to leave the ending and then I was able to write about it,’’ he says.
‘‘You can’t write about the jungle when you’re in the middle of it.’’
Unable to sleep, he used to take to walking the streets of Sydney.
‘‘My brain was just so overstimulated that I had to go on these really long walks to get exhausted enough to then fall asleep at night. Sounds pretty mental, but it worked.’’
And it eventually led to a stream of writing that became his second EP, I Hope My City Loves Me Still. Guineafowl says the four tracks were written in the latter part of this dark time in his life and compared to Hello Anxiety, it marks a big step forward.
While his first EP was about figuring out how to record music, this time around he’s concentrating on the songwriting, the structure of the EP and experimenting less.
It’s all working towards an album, which he says will feature some of the more intense, nitty-gritty songs he wrote during his time in ‘‘the jungle’’, so to speak.
‘‘It’s only going to get more intense from here,’’ he says.
Next up, Guineafowl plays a few solo gigs in Sydney, Brisbane and Byron Bay before joining Perth rockers Birds of Tokyo for show in Geelong, on the Gold Coast and in Newcastle and Wollongong.
‘‘I really like Birds of Tokyo, but not only that, I was listening to them while recording this EP,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s pretty exciting to tour with a big boy band like Birds of Tokyo.’’
Birds of Tokyo and Guineafowl play the Coolangatta Hotel on December 11. Guineafowl and Set Sail play Alhambra Lounge, in Brisbane, on December 12 and the Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, on December 13. December 14 – Newcastle, Panthers