Being one of Australia’s greatest multi–instrumentalists, Xavier Rudd marks the release of his seventh album, aptly entitled Spirit Bird. Returning with a desirable sound that has certainly been missed, this is perhaps Rudd’s most inspiring record to date. We are once again encouraged to pick up that surfboard and travel towards the town of Torquay, where Rudd in fact hails from.
Opening track Lioness Eye contains the eccentric sound of a didgeridoo with bird calls that incorporate with the title of the album. This leads us into the reflective, yet touching story of Comfortable in my Skin. Xavier Rudd is grateful for his general well–being after recovering from the ever–so-daunting back surgery last year. The lyrics ‘No suffering at all’ is a heartening line to explain that there is a brighter day, no matter how down a person is feeling. This song is indeed a highlight on the album.
Spirit Bird portrays an empowering political and supportive message that cites ‘Keep fighting for your land / I know it’s been thousands of years / and I know it’s wrong’ and ‘That Government hand taking blood and land’. Also containing an Indigenous chant, this title track is the most empowering song on the album, and quite possibly any other release this year.
This brings us to the much-hyped first single Follow The Sun. Xavier Rudd brings us the touching sound of magpies, which could provide an exotic wake-up call in the early hours of the morning. As a fitting song to preview the album, it has an uplifting drum beat with the sound of light guitar and a harmonica. These are combined perfectly.
Other charms such as Paper Thin and Full Circle guide us into 3 Roads that draws attention to the beginning of the album. This is not a problem, as the sound of Rudd’s voice does not disappoint. In an unfortunate way, the album is concluded with Creating A Dream. The lyrics ‘Please, patience please’ and ‘I’m creating a dream’ conceivably sum up a potential message that Rudd is trying to explain throughout the album.
Recently signing to Los Angeles-based Side One Dummy Records, Xavier Rudd produces an album that is worth every second of listening. Songs from the album will be an absolute pleasure to hear when performed live on his upcoming tour of Australia. Spirit Bird is out June 8.