‘Monkwood’ by Five Fathoms Deep – A Crisp Breeze on a Cool Autumn Afternoon

Sitting cross-legged atop a rugged hill, with the Cambrian Mountains on my back and Cardigan Bay gently pulsing back and forth in front of me, one can find themselves pacing back through their past, reading the pages of memories that utter forth from the depths of the mind; longing for a revival of what they’ve previously embraced whilst simultaneously observing in the horizon the joy that is to come. If tranquility, with splashes of fresh charm and colour, is what you seek, then ‘Monkwood’ is for you. Five Fathoms Deep have provided the backing track to the heavenly peace one can encounter when a crisp breeze arrives on a cool Autumn afternoon.


Following in the footsteps of their debut EP ‘Inglenook’, a four-song collection that ‘has footings in the past as well as it takes steps into the future of the genre itself’ (Jamie Rabash), Five Fathoms Deep have gone from strength to strength with their fresh EP, ‘Monkwood’. Where traditionally indie/alternative music has often had its roots in slower rhythm and soft transitions, this 9-piece alternative-folk band from Essex/London opt for a keeping with tradition interwoven with vivacious spirit and joy. Do not be misled, for they have not lost their folk or indie foundations. Five Fathoms Deep seamlessly bounce from the ebullient and joyous rhythm in their first song of the album ‘Midas’, to the reflective and sonder of ‘Mowgli’ and ‘Midnight’, before finishing with an uplifting Spanish beer that stirs within you a desire to unreluctantly jump out of your chair and move exuberantly around the room. ‘Sol’ is the perfect end to an album that is a refreshingly charming yet nostalgically-enriching addition to the world of alternative/folk; and one that offers a generous helping of modesty and dynamic sound.


Watching a part of their set at Greenbelt 18, it is clear to see how, though their album recordings are inspiring, their live performances are really what makes the music come alive, which goes without saying for almost all genres of music. It is warming to bear witness, even through a Youtube video, a group of people that bounce off each other with ease, that work in unison and undeniably revel and adore the music they are playing. Although what I have just written can be seen as something blatantly obvious, it is not completely a passing remark. To have nine musicians, all brilliant at what they do, on a stage working as one collective to deliver to their audience a passionate delivery of their music is wondrous. It’s fresh. That’s what Five Fathoms Deep really demonstrated. A freshness in the mist that sometimes sits over folk and alternative music.


Whether the album name has its roots in the village of Monkwood in East Hampshire, or the ‘semi-natural ancient woodland that is renowned for its ground flora and butterfly species’, it stirs the old fires of memory that sit within us all. This review comes with a high recommendation for this album, and for Five Fathoms Deep. It is encouraging to know that alternative/folk music can fill the negative space that sometimes arrives with traditional folk and indie music, and this band fill it with a beauty and excellence that is modest and gentle.


Five Fathoms Deep will be performing at Borderline in Soho on the 17th November 2018, and ‘Monkwood’ will be released on the same day.





Jamie Rabash’s review of Inglenook – https://www.divideandconquermusic.com/indie-music-album-reviews/five-fathoms-deep-inglenook?fbclid=IwAR1tJ58JIVD9lrowfz18qrO9ozyzxqHAWEurH-JI4MjYSetNCy9lRwU2lWY


Meaning of Sonder – http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/post/23536922667/sonder


Monkwood (woodland) – http://www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/reserves/monkwood