Storm BoyIf Paul Simon had grown up on the Australian coast and become a surfing vegetarian, he would sound like Xavier Rudd.

There’s a splendid simplicity and gentleness to Rudd’s ninth studio album, but also a deep connection to the world around him. “Walk away from all that you know,” he tells himself in the opening track. Later Rudd acknowledges that “a fork in the road would someday come.” And while this is not quite a new beginning, it’s the sound of consolidation for an artist who’s creating his own remarkable story and sound. It’s the echo of the open highway, disappearing into the heart of the great unknown.

Storm Boy is out May 25 via Warner.

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