Published Jan 31, 2020Montreal's all-women electro-pop trio Caveboy drop their first full-length, Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark, after they got a Juno nomination — single "Hide Your Love" earned a Producer of the Year nom for Derek Hoffman (Ralph, Arkells, the Trews).
Caveboy are Michelle Bensimon (vocals, guitar, synth), Isabelle Banos (synth, bass, backing vocals) and Lana Cooney (drums, percussion, backing vocals), and they've made an album that fits squarely in with electro-pop contemporaries. "Silk for Gold" is a guitar-driven pop bop that draws you in with catchy lyricism. "I Wonder" uses a slow build and drum-heavy beat to bring you along on the journey of rebuilding and slowly learning to trust yourself. "Hide Your Love" is a definite standout; its lyrics speak to that cynicism that young millennials love to dig into. Bensimon questions the listener's motives, singing, "A swipe late in the night / does it fill you up?" The track breaks into a '80s-influenced synth jam that is only accented by its crisp vocal delivery. The arrangement effortless switches from a maximal, noisy chorus to a minimal, space-filled bridge.
"N.Y.P.," on first listen, comes across as an ephemeral, synth-driven, almost psychedelic pop song, but closer listens reveal that dreamy vocals are masking some of the most provocative lyrics on the album.
Caveboy find strength in their lyricism, which can at times be lost behind the heavy synth and drums. Yet on tracks such as "Find Me," with its crooned retelling of toxic passion and an ex lover, you are faced with it head on. "Guess I've Changed" reflects on young love: "I remember it, a night in the park, a kiss in the dark, now just a story to forget." The album ends on a strong note with the dance-driven "Obsessed" and "Landslide."
Overall, Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark sparkles when its narratives and '80s synth arrangements are non-apologetic. That stellar combination is Caveboy's undeniable strength. (Independent)