These issues contributed to him not “having any direction in any part of life until recently”.

“The only one motivation that rang true was performing,” he says. “I just always wanted to perform and share new songs all the time.”

In the depths of depression, the stage offered solace. “Even if it feels like my life is over right before I get on stage, as soon as I’m there it all dissipates,” he says. “Just having a good time and singing with my friends. It’s very much a release.”

Though it remains a work in progress, Golledge has since addressed many of his mental health issues and his career has reaped the benefits. “I guess that’s what it’s like when you’re not fully controlled by [those issues],” he says.

Signing with respected independent label I OH YOU – home to artists such as Violent Soho and DMA’S – at 35 Golledge has just released his debut EP, Namoi. Taking its name from a river in which he and his twin brother used to play, its six songs recall artists such as Neil Young and Ryan Adams, moving from fragile solo laments to thundering, full-blooded jams.

Golledge’s close-to-the-bone lyrical rawness is summed up in a line from EP opener Blue: “I may never tell the truth, but I could never sing a lie.”

“That was [written at] the peak of my mental health issues,” he says. “It’s about questioning your voice and questioning your health and not leaving your bedroom and not wanting to sing sad songs, ’cause that’s the reason you’re sad. You’ve written so many sad songs – have you just become a sad song?”

Having finally started releasing his music, Golledge is in no mood to stop. “I’ve always felt like my songs were ready, I just wasn’t ready, so it feels really good,” he says. “I’m ready to make the next move.”

Andy Golledge plays the Mar Old Bar, Melbourne, on March 21; and the Lansdowne Hotel, Chippendale, on March 28.



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