Archie Roach is a man of few words but when he speaks, or sings, those words lift you up, transport you and humble you. He is that rarest of beings; one that sees beyond race, religion, gender and ideology. It’s been four years since the release of Into the Bloodstream, the album that marked his return to recording in the wake of unimaginable setbacks including a stroke, lung cancer and the sudden and tragic loss of Ruby Hunter, his partner both in life and music. Let Love Rule is Archie’s tenth studio album in what has become an extraordinary career – the new songs explore the theme of love. “I wanted to write about love, or a willingness to love all people,” says Archie. “We are closing ourselves off and not letting people in. And not just in the sense of not letting them into the country, but not letting them into our hearts, into our minds. Many of the songs on the album are really a call for understanding,” explains Archie.
The album’s cover artwork is from Chinese contemporary artist and activist, Ai Weiwei. Archie was among a small group of prominent Australian human rights campaigners whose words and images Ai Weiwei used in an installation called ‘The Letgo Room’ (made from imitation Lego building blocks) as part of the recent exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.