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World Music CD Reviews Australia & Oceania

Xavier Rudd

By Matt Schneiner
Published January 14, 2008

White Moth

Xavier Rudd’s White Moth is an aqueous mix of aboriginal Australia and in-the-pocket groove. By adding a permanent percussionist and organist, Rudd has taken the focus off his limiting one-man-band show and applied that extra energy to creating a catalog of perfect new songs. While White Moth retains the folk-rock beach vibe that’s such a part of Rudd’s Australian persona, the album is layered with plucking guitars, flowing didgeridoos and expertly crafted words. The lyrics are rooted in environmentalism, compassion, tradition, and infectious humility. The album flip-flops between simple exuberance on “Twist” and “Better People” and sentimental journeys with “Choices,” “Whirlpool” and “Come Back.” White Moth was recorded in a woodsy British Columbia cabin, but captures the feel of Australia’s Yolgnu people, who chant and provide an ethereal backdrop on a few tracks. White Moth is Rudd’s best effort yet as it successfully links traditional music and modernity.