Minks' Sonny Kilfoyle Explains His Pure Pop Challenge with 'Tides End'

Minks' Sonny Kilfoyle Explains His Pure Pop Challenge with 'Tides End'
When Shaun "Sonny" Kilfoyle released By the Hedge, his debut album under the name Minks, the then Brooklyn native was in a whole different headspace. For his second album, the upcoming Tides End, he knew he needed a change of scenery to get creative again. As previously reported, Kilfoyle left NYC for Montauk, Long Island, an unlikely choice, but one that suited his case of writer's block.

"My opinion of the music scene in New York is that it appears more like a scene to an outsider," he tells Exclaim! "It's really big, there are so many small scenes within it all. But I've never felt like I was part of a scene. I guess for me it was easy because of that. It doesn't feel very different living out here other than that it's rural. Whereas the city is quite nuts."

For his sophomore album, Kilfoyle wanted to completely rewrite his sound. Gone is the post-punk influence found on By the Hedge, and in its place is a heavier focus on sharpening a pure pop songwriting style.

"I guess what it is is that I felt inspired to challenge myself," he says. "On Captured Tracks, I felt that everything was sounding the same — and this is just my opinion — but as a music listener I was bored. I felt like no one was trying to write catchy music. I don't know, I just wanted to write great pop songs. I would listen to radio pop while I was driving, and I just wanted to see if I could blend a pop structure with something that was cooler than what I was hearing on the radio. It was a challenge."

The greatest difference he feels is that the poppier Tides End replaces some of the darkness that weighed down By the Hedge.

"It's definitely less depressing," he explains. "I think lyrically, I wanted to write about contemporary things, rather than the past. Or write about things that seemed more relevant. Whereas on By the Hedge, it didn't seem like I was writing to be relevant at all. I was just kind of… whatever came out, came out. That was a pretty dark record because I was in a dark period of my life when I recorded it. I don't even remember half of those recording sessions because I was either too drunk or too out of my head on something. But for this record I was a lot clearer, so maybe the music is a lot clearer."

Stream Tides End below.

The album arrives Tuesday (August 6) via Captured Tracks.