With the departure of Amalie Bruun, Sean “Sonny” Kilfoyle was left with the task of taking the Minks sound in a completely new direction. So what did he do? He went east, the East End of Long Island to be exact – a place where he was able to detach from the urban grind and find inspiration in the most unusual places including an old dilapidated house (called Tides End) and its Capotian inhabitants.
There was something about the decay of old money that left Kilfoyle spellbound, and the result is an eye-gouging trip down memory lane. Another nostalgic odyssey with fleeting romance predictably lurking around every corner. It’s a slow uninspiring death like rolling off a cliff at 5 mph.
Kilfoyle’s experience at Tides End allowed him to appreciate “the little moments of everyday life,” which is a mantra that can be found repeatedly throughout the album, “Everything’s Fine” housing the nucleus: [LISTEN]
Kilfoyle is walking around in a haze, using snapshots of his time at the house as the inspiration for his narrative. Producer/engineer Mark Verbos contributes to the whimsy with a stab at new wave pop, and together they seem to be complimenting each other’s pretentious nature to a tee.
But neither is looking to make any sort of real statement. They’ve both set the bar incredibly low, and that’s where the project fails. Kilfoyle is relying yet again on a series of familiar tropes, and has done little in the way of challenging the lyrical angel of his music. His words are as cheap and generic as ever – a scarlet letter that’s been following him around since his debut, as heard on “Hold Me Now:” [LISTEN]
As a pop album everything falls into its rightful place, making it challenging to criticize but incredibly easy to dismiss. However, it’s too much of a stylistic reset from By The Hedge to make an accurate assessment as to whether or not Kilfoyle has grown at all as a frontman. He took a vacation from an average workload, and this is the result.
Tides End reeks of privileged entitlement, which in a way makes sense considering who and what inspired the album. There’s no everlasting quality to it, and all Kilfoyle did was add to his resume of incomplete ideas, an image he accurately describes in “Painted Indian:” [LISTEN]