Sean (bass, vocals), Ringo (guitar) and Liam (drums) are the members of Wild Tibetan Monks (WTM), a three-piece Dublin-based alternative-rock band. After releasing their debut single Liam five months ago, they are back to delight us with this guitar-driven single, Cartoons.
There’s not much of a story behind the controversial band name; at least that’s what the vocalist says: “Band name has a nice ring to it, like a similar amount of syllables as Red Hot Chilli Peppers.” Actually, this seems to be a trend in band names. In recent years, other bands with eccentric names have come to light as: Derby Motoreta’s Burrito Kachimba, The First Person To See An Elephant, Suburban Kids with Biblical Names, La Maravillosa Orquesta Del Alcohol, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and many more.
Nevertheless, Wild Tibetan Monks has quite the backstory. They met in college in 2001 and performed together for several years, playing covers as well as their own original material. In 2018, the band traded Dublin for Perth, Australia for a two-year journey of music and exploration. They toured around Western Australia and had a varied lineup over the years, including different singers and a horn section. Also, the three musicians began recording their original music. That’s how Liam was born on May 18th.
They are such a fun band; they can be wearing suits on stage one minute and are suddenly becoming bananas the next. The more random, the more we like them!
The global pandemic forced WTM to move back to Ireland. “It was actually really exciting, as the embassy had to organise a last minute flight,” Sean says. Now, they are focused on recording and releasing their original material. Today, Cartoons has been released and is being well received by its audience so far.
And we can understand why. Cartoons is a reflective song that juxtaposes spacious, ambient verses with a full, defiant chorus. It creates a feeling of nostalgia, through wailing guitars and playing with tension and release.
Personally, I added it to my playlist after the first ten seconds, I didn’t need more than that. What a catchy start. The sound of the distorted guitar when it comes in is decidedly old school, with raw power chords and a big marshall sound. After that, you literally feel how the music drives you. It seems like you are just in the backseat of a car with your legs out, leaning on the window bracket and enjoying the moment.
Frontman Sean says, “The song is about going through life doing all the things you feel you should have done, things people or society tell us to do. Then you get there, and you wonder if it’s what you really want, if it’s really what’s gonna make you happy. We also explore the pressures of modern life, the tension that builds and then becoming unstuck.”
Clearly influenced by Arctic Monkeys and Vampire Weekend, the chorus is powerful, with well paused rhythms and a controlled voice but carried by the superb frenzy of the drums.
Cartoons are the essence of the song and are only mentioned at the end of the lyrics. Perhaps, they just want a simple life, like when we were little. The song represents the longing for childhood, where we used to express ourselves fluently without thinking about anything or anyone, when society had not yet corrupted us.
When I’m sitting next to you
And I wish you’d never move
Let’s just sit and watch Cartoons
No I’ve never been so
“We wanted to create a feeling, not just through the lyrics, of longing to go back to a simpler time, of sitting with someone and watching cartoons,” Sean tells me.
And, by the way, aren’t we in the perfect moment to start caring about the little things, to live in the awesome present? Because that’s all we have.The simple life. ‘Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity,’ as Henry David Thoreau used to say.
- The song was recorded in Rada Studios when the band was living in Perth, Australia.
- There is a fierce rivalry between WTM and also another Irish band called “The Hardcore Priests of Yemen”
Any music recommendations for the weekend? Which is your favourite cartoon of all time? Have a good one!
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