“It seems the whole wide world has gone crazy,” Xavier Rudd notes on his 10th studio album. The one-man band doesn’t profess to offer solutions, but he poses plenty of questions on this record, his first in four years.
“Every wakin’ hour of every wakin’ day/ I wake up to the sound of discussions in my brain,” he sings. “I don’t know the answer.”
Jan Juc Moon – named after the Victorian coastal town where Rudd grew up – is quite a trip, with 13 tracks spread over 70 minutes. In some ways, it can be seen as a companion piece to Midnight Oil’s Resist, a compelling collection in an election year. “You can mark my words that your days will be numbered,” Rudd tips in the opening track, I am Eagle. He sings about the state of the world and his connection to the land, declaring: “There is so much magic all around us on this island we call home.” Then there’s Ball and Chain, featuring a rap by J-MILLA, a powerful piece about Australia’s past and future and the “constant fight for justice to pave the way for change.”
The beauty of Rudd’s work is that he can sound cruisy even when addressing serious issues. The result is a hypnotic collection, both soothing and searing. The record closes with Joanna, a song about Neil Young, the beach, the pandemic and love. “I agree,” Rudd concludes gently, “all that matters are the matters of the heart.”
Jan Juc Moon by Xavier Rudd is out March 25, including on JB-exclusive transparent blue vinyl (pictured above) via Salt.X Records/Virgin.
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