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When he debuted in 2002 with the album To Let, Xavier Rudd began a journey that would see him become one of the most iconic voices in Australian music, literally and figuratively. With each new album, this journey has wound like a river making its way toward the ocean – twisting and turning, flowing and cascading as it relentlessly pushes forward.
Introducing himself as an artist of both imagination and conscience, Xavier Rudd’s ability to marry uplifting melodies with thought-provoking themes and concepts produced music that, one way or another, made you feel good. With an array of guitars, yidakis (didgeridoos), stomp box and percussion, Rudd re-introduced a lot of Australians to the sounds and stories of the land’s original owners, while introducing the rest of the world to an entirely new sound altogether. And, over the course of a decade, he has taken this sound to every corner of the globe; producing six studio albums, two live albums, multiple ARIA nominations and a global fan-base of likeminded souls.
This journey – truly befitting a storyteller – continues with Xavier Rudd’s seventh and most moving album, Spirit Bird. Shaped by his history but continuing to break new ground, Xavier Rudd is at his most creative on Spirit Bird – once again painting breathtaking pictures with vivid, unmistakable tones. Hypnotic ceremonial rhythms ease effortlessly into tender folk songs. Gritty guitar blues sits perfectly alongside entrancing yidaki passages. Rudd’s voice, and the voice of his ancestors, yet again bearing truth and knowledge.
Led by the heart-warming Follow The Sun; Spirit Bird weaves together Rudd’s trademark mixture of blues, reggae, indigenous and folk music in new and familiar ways… at times recalling the simplicity of Solace, and at others the electricity of Dark Shades Of Blue. There is the youthfulness of To Let, but the wisdom of Koonyum Sun. It is Xavier Rudd by every measure.
And whether it is a message, or just some words from the heart; Spirit Bird is a defining moment in the evolution of one of Australia’s most important artists. The moment where the river meets the ocean.