With this short session in the KEXP studio, Karl Wallinger proved once again that the legacy of his one man brigade World Party still lives on. Today, Wallinger’s timeless records are as powerful and effective as they’ve ever been, and in the stripped down setting of our studio, his heartfelt ballads won our hearts once again. The stop coincided with a tour in support of new unreleased material box set Arkeology, hosting 70 tracks of demos, live cuts, radio sessions, b-sides, and the like. It’s not just a cash grab either – Wallinger is planning on releasing new World Party material this year! But all things in good time of course, for now, these gorgeous acoustic renditions of two absolute classics will bide some time.
World Party has always been a clever mix of sounds that could only come from the likes of Wallinger. The former Waterboy branched out on his own in the late 80’s and created a sense of style all unto himself. His 1990 release Goodbye Jumbo and its 1993 follow up Bang! showcase some of the best songwriting of the times. Today, the polish hasn’t waned on Wallinger’s sound. In the studio, Wallinger played a simple acoustic guitar, joined by mandolin on “Is It Like Today?” and fiddle on “Put The Message In The Box”, both played beautifully by David Duffy, who joins him on this leg of the tour. The instrumentation focuses more than ever on Wallinger’s message, which is as epic as ever. Tunes like “Is It Like Today?” tell stories bigger and better than a lot of what we see on the scene today. It’s a wonderful reminder that some artists, like Wallinger, continue to try and convey something past the hook and the pop single. A man never overly concerned with his pop success, Wallinger continues to weave a wondrous tapestry in his songs.
Watch the full performance and interview here and hear “Is It Like Today” and “Put The Message In The Box” below. World Party will tour through the UK in April.