The Playlist: Xavier Rudd


Xavier Rudd is a man on a mission. In March he released his eighth studio album, Nanna, with his new band, The United Nations. Since then they’ve toured the US, Europe and regional Australia. Here, he shares the tracks that inspire his sound, among them Yothu Yindi’s Treaty, which he calls “one of the most important songs in Australian history”.

Paul Simon The Boy In The Bubble

“I saw the Paul Simon Graceland tour when I was about ten years old. I remember knowing that night deep in my bones that was what I would do with my life.“

Bob Marley Three Little Birds

“This song has always been light in the dark for me for as long as I can remember. Any song that can bring such a strong ray of sunshine through the heaviest clouds is a blessing on this earth.”

Midnite Mama Africa

“I listen to Midnite more than any other artist. Vaughn Benjamin is one of the greatest poets on the planet and this is just one of many beautiful compositions by this amazing band.”

Harry Manx Don’t Forget to Miss Me

“This song is a true classic that can pull at the heart strings and take you to a place of reflection.”

Neil Young The Needle and the Damage Done

“I remember my father singing this so vividly in the car when we were young on surf trips. I would fall in and out of sleep to these beautiful songs through the voice of my father, as he would reflect on his journey.”

Leo Kottke Louise

“This was really the song and artist that first inspired my love of acoustic slide guitar.”

Tool The Pot

“Tool is one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. They have such a powerful sonic presence and this is just one of many great rock songs.”

Natalie Merchant Ophelia

“I love Natalie Merchants vocal delivery, she has such a gift for carrying the listener away.”

Yothu Yindi Treaty

“One of the most important songs in Australian history. This band was the work of the ancestors and that work is still weaving its way through the fibres of our country. Yongul culture is such a strong platform for change in this country and medicine for all people.”

Archie Roach Beggar Man

“Uncle Archie has a unique way of painting a picture so simply and peacefully of the struggles of his people and the question of compassion and its place in an ever-changing society.”

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