TO truly appreciate Andy Golledge, you need to witness the alt-country singer-songwriter live on stage.
It's chaotic. It's frenetic. He's one of those performers who seemingly appear constantly on the precipice of disaster, only to reel himself back with a large dose of charisma.
Case in point was two weeks ago when Golledge performed at the bushfire fundraiser Mary's Loves The Bush at Sydney's Lansdowne Hotel.
The set ended with Golledge performing among the packed crowd wearing nothing but his underwear, an acoustic guitar, a cowboy hat and a sweaty handlebar moustache surrounded by topless male and female fans.
These are the kinds of manic performances Golledge has been delivering for 16 years around hipster inner-west Sydney venues and at festivals like Dashville Skyline since leaving his hometown of Tamworth at 19.
But there's been an absence of recorded material. Finally on Friday Golledge released his debut EP Namoi through Mushroom's indie label I Oh You.
"I feed off performing, I feed off the energy of other people," Golledge tells Weekender the morning after Mary's Loves The Bush.
"I think that's why it took so long to record stuff. You're a performer and it's all about the show and you've got to somehow capture that within a recording.
"You don't want to be one of those artists that people say, 'He's so red hot, but the CD is just OK.' That's a live performer's worst fear, I think.
"We got as close as we could. I think it sounds great and does our live performance justice."
Namoi is named after the river which passes near his hometown of Tamworth and flows west across the Liverpool Plains.
Throughout Golledge's life the Namoi River has been a constant. It's where he and his twin brother have fished and escaped to since they were children.
It was those nostalgic memories along the banks of the Namoi which inspired the EP's greatest moment, the soaring folk-rocker Run To The River. Golledge wrote the song for his brother who was struggling with depression due to suffering seizures from an undiagnosed brain tumour.
Elsewhere, Golledge's aching Neil Young-style vocal is dripping with emotion on the opener Blue and the stirring When Your Mind's Away. It's a far cry from his reputation as the wild frontman.
"Those songs hold a lot of emotional weight," he says. "When I play a live show, people definitely resonate with the lyrics, and still have a great time listening to sad music.
"I think that's a really great way to connect to emotional stuff. Sometimes people don't want to think, they just want to think they're thinking.
"That combination of upbeat music and melancholy lyrics is really important. It really opens the door to every aspect of life, which is important to break those barriers down."
Andy Golledge is expected to announce his Newcastle album tour show shortly.