Spirit Bird is the soon-to-be released record from esteemed Australian singer-songwriter, Xavier Rudd. This will be the artist’s seventh album where he continues to incorporate his signature naturalistic themes. Rudd revives the traditional aspects of Australian music by the using the didgeridoo consistently throughout the record, adding a defining characteristic. His lyrics paint sprawling mental images that bring the stories he tells in song to life. On the first track, “Lioness Eye,” the album unfolds before you with an extended didgeridoo solo that captures your attention entirely. Quirky as the instrument may be, Xavier Rudd has clearly mastered it and puts it to good use for all to enjoy.

“3 Roads” sounds more like a soundscape recorded in a jungle or perhaps the Australian Outback rather than a song created in a recording studio. Toward the end of the emotional title track, “Spirit Bird,” a chorus of children accompanies Rudd, allowing for an epic vocal crescendo. Abrupt and organic vocals give this already whimsical piece an ethereal element. Pop-like beats keep the album relevant and interesting. Many songs on Spirit Bird describe the loss of sacred lands—mourning for the wilderness that we so easily consume. The lyricist prays for days in the future where war does not reign supreme over humanity.

Melancholy vocals surround the calls for brotherhood on tracks like “Bow Down.” Handy acoustic guitar work is the perfect accent to the more easy-going songs, such as “Full Circle.” The lines that designate a love song from a religious song are blurred on “Mystery Angel,” where you are not sure if the subject in question is Rudd’s mother, god, or lover. Either way, this record is easy, feel-good listening that musically keeps you interested for its entirety. Spirit Bird is filled with openly vulnerable lyrics and cannot be compared to much contemporary music sonically.

In A Word: Untainted

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