The ’90s weren’t just about grunge. Hippie revivalism also swept popular culture. Xavier Rudd might have made his debut in 2002 but he represents – to a fault – both the spirit and sound of a time when anti-globalisation protests were radical and the internet was heralded as the great leveller.
While Rudd’s meandering didge-scapes, slide guitar, husky voice and one-man-band-style kick drum are sweet and disarming, his Achilles heel is the same as any hippie’s: over-earnest idealism. But singing about butterflies, mystery angels and “ancestral twine” is both a strength and a weakness as Spirit Bird will prove easy for hippies to like and nigh impossible for anyone else to love. Still, were I combi-vanning my way to a forest blockade I’d probably crank it too.