It’s very catchy. It’s very slick. It’s more complex than most pop music. It’s just holding us at arm’s distance.

It’s rare that an EP can hold so much potential for an artist. From the first moments of opener ‘Little Death (Make It Rain)’, it’s clear this guy is going to be huge one day. He has to be. And if anything this record serves as a signifier of his future success, but little more than that.

Guineafowl is something of a Sydney legend. And why not? He has the story: frustrated muso makes record on his own in a Bondi apartment, gets signed to major label, releases critically acclaimed EPs, and tours the country to great success. It’s a great story. This new release comes with a story too, one that sees Sam Yeldham wandering the city by night, and visiting haunts of first kisses and bar fights. Again, great story. But at a certain point, the music should be telling the stories, not the press release.

There’s no denying the guy has talent. His baritone croon is enough to make you sit up and take notice. The musicianship is flawless. And maybe that’s the problem; it’s too precise. Too calculated, perhaps? I don’t even think this is ‘throw away’ music. Listen to the lyrics – he’s saying a lot more than any pop star. And with titles such as ‘Little Death’ and ‘Heartbreak Highs’, he wants us to listen to the message. I just wish I didn’t have to dig through layers of crisp, zeitgiesty production to get to it.

Guineafowl is good. He’s proven he’s good. I can’t wait for the next record, when he doesn’t have to prove it anymore, and we can finally hear him.

2.5/5 stars

BY CAMERON JAMES

I Hope My City Loves Me Still is out now through Dew Process/Universal.

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