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  • Writer's pictureEmma Norton

Better People- Xavier Rudd

My cat has an obsession with white moths. After a few months of attempting to catch one, he ate one yesterday. We were both shocked. So as a result of my guilt and feeling a need to honor the little winged one, today we are off to Australia to explore the work of Xavier Rudd.

2007 welcomed White Moth from singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Xavier RuddI was fortunate to see him in concert (I have the shirt to prove it.) The didgeridoo and other instruments reverberated throughout the venue, feeling it travel from the ground up throughout our bodies. He was one of the earlier artists I followed that was predominantly socially and spiritually conscious in his messaging, along with environmental and indigenous rights in his native land. 

I had a phase where I was watching every surfing documentary I could find. The cinematography is unparalleled; surf culture naturally lends itself to experiential film. I believe it was through one of these films where Rudd's music was featured that I then went and dove into his music, particularly White Moth.

I chose perhaps the most obvious and easy to interpret song "Better People." Conveniently it is also the first track on the album. There is the main perspective of the song that is an ode to those who are more actively or notably fighting the injustices of the world are the 'better people.' Those who are in a selfish mindset (they purposely divide themselves because they cannot comprehend unity consciousness, likely because they feel limited by their pain) could perceive the lyrics as being called out as inferior. However, I also have seen this shift in these times toward a constant state of advocacy and we are seeing this sense of urgency on a global scale that small acts are equally as important and impactful.

The alternative perspective is that the song shows compassion and the multitude of ways in which you can make a difference in the world. The basis of Rudd's artistry comes from his connection to his roots and desire for the world to be a better place, inhabited by, you guessed it, better people! See? It all comes full circle. The song is catchy and it is easy to sing along to. Listen to the whole album and dance wildly under the moonlight butt naked to the didgeridoo if you feel compelled. 

Rudd's music is a reminder of how messaging through music is impactful. It is like other forms of art, not only a creative outlet but holds the potential as a tool to improve and uplift others. It is interesting to note the duality on the album or perhaps it is because I am exploring that more myself at this time. The songs flow between upbeat and jovial to calmer and soft. There is this balance created as a reminder that listening to it now, being in the heat of the summer, we may gravitate toward songs like "Come Let Go" and "Twist," whereas moving into winter we may choose "Anni Kookoo" or "Whirlpool." I have also become more interested in Indigenous culture as of late and the connection to the land, so it is appealing to go back into Xavier Rudd's albums to see what new lessons I may pick up to share.

Today's lesson: We all just need to jam out to a didgeridoo sometimes. 

RIP to the little white moth.

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