The Monks Kitchen – 'Music from The Monks Kitchen' album review

A rambling but engrossing full-length debut from the hermit-like West Londoners



Add +

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5

West London-based bearded wonders The Monks Kitchen played a handful of memorable shows and released a gorgeous six-track mini-LP, ‘The Wind May Howl’, in 2007, then promptly vanished for 6 years. Well, they’ve not been idle – or at least, they’ve only been moderately idle. Recorded largely at home, ‘Music From The Monks Kitchen’ is an intimate and quietly lovely full-length debut, cautious and subtle but richly melodic.

The closest parallel here is to Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci’s 1999 long-player ‘Spanish Dance Troupe’, with its fragmented, piecemeal blend of instrumentals, hushed ballads and sparkling pop jewels. This is an 18-track album that runs under 45 minutes, and many tracks are little more than bittersweet sketches. But the ‘proper’ songs, when they arrive, are magnificent: ‘I Wanna Go’ is a country stroller with a sharp Rickenbacker edge, while ‘O’Melancholy’ lives up to its title with scratchy classical guitar and haunted strings. Unfocussed and rambling this record may be, but it’s as homely and welcoming as an open fire.

Buy this album here

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.

Listen to 'Music from The Monks Kitchen' on Spotify

Watch the video for 'The Raven'

Users say


Read more music features

Six must-see shows at Illuminations

Don’t miss these highlights at London’s annual music and film festival

The 20 best one-hit wonders

The best songs by artists who never troubled the music charts again

The Mercury Prize 2014 shortlist

Meet the contenders for the biggest album award in British music

Interview: Kindness

The genre-hopping Londoner has made a sublime second album. Shame people keep calling his music ‘white-boy funk’

A guide to Northern soul

Bone up on the scene that invented UK club culture with our need-to-know introduction

See all Time Out music features