Caveboy's debut album leans heavy on nostalgia

Alt-pop band owes inspiration to childish innocence

Caveboy will play the Mansion on Jan. 25.
From Caveboy's Facebook

Michelle Bensimon's husky voice echoes over the dreamy synthesizers that give Caveboy’s hype-dance music its ethereal appeal.

The band—an all-girl trio out of Montréal—aim to embody youthful independence in their tunes, an energy they’re bringing to Kingston on Jan. 25.

Caveboy is comprised of Bensimon on lead vocals, Isabelle Banos on synth, bass, and background vocals, and Lana Cooney on drums, percussion, and background vocals. Their debut album Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark is a nostalgic tribute to the joy of simpler times, and calls back to Bensimon, Banos and Cooney’s long history together.

Neighbours since childhood, Bensimon and Cooney grew up playing soccer together and attending the same elementary and high schools. After Cooney met Banos through CEGEP, Québec’s pre-university college system, the duo began to play music together.

The pair invited Bensimon to join them eight years ago, first asking her to audition for the group. After shifting in and out of musical projects for several years, the trio officially donned the title Caveboy in 2015. Caveboy was the perfect name to capture their sound and identity. It linked their common childhood experiences.

“We all had divorced parents, and we grew up in the '90s doing our own thing. We were all tomboys, and that’s what Caveboy represents: that independent kid. We’ve all connected a lot on that,” Bensimon said in an interview with The Journal.

The trio’s sum total makes for a track-list filled with the raspy, danceable sound of HAIM, and a darker, strobing energy that conjures images of fog-machines, shoulder pads, and retro school dances.

Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark has been a three-year effort from the band, who wrote more than 30 songs before they began to record with producer Derek Hoffman on this album.

For Caveboy, the space they write in is crucial to their creative process. Starting in a crowded and dirty shared jam space, they struggled to produce content amongst discarded cigarettes and stolen beers. A sojourn to a cottage kicked off a two-week song-writing experiment, with the band writing a song a day, producing several singles for their debut album including “Silk for Gold.”

“We were feeling this feeling of letting go and liberation, and we wanted to capture that in ‘Silk for Gold.’It always felt like shedding skin. Whenever we play that song now, it just feels like an anthem of letting go, and letting things disappear to become better.”

Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark is a major leap for the band, who fought to create an album rather than the series of EPs and singles they’ve previously produced.

It’s an ode to their youth, taking inspiration from disco and featuring songs about the struggles of connecting in the age of technology.

“We managed to capture an emotion that we all feel so deeply which is like that longing for a simpler time and that nostalgia factor,” Bensimon said. 

“I hope that the listeners can be transported to another time and allow themselves to just feel. We’re all looking for a little bit of joy with everything that’s going on in the world. I really hope that this album can bring people some of that joy.”


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