Spending time in a castle in Ireland certainly inspired Caveboy’s latest visuals, as fans can see in the group’s new lyric video for “Silk For Gold,” premiering today (Oct. 29) on Billboard.
The gorgeous alt-pop track conjures up the rich, luxurious images director Brittpaperscissors used for the new clip. The song is the first single from the Montreal trio’s debut album, Night In The Park, Kiss In The Dark, produced by Derek Hoffman (Arkells, The Trews, Ralph), and due out Jan. 31, 2020.
Up until now, the band — Michelle Bensimon (lead vocals, guitar, synth), Isabelle Banos (synth, bass, backing vocals) and Lana Cooney (drums, backing vocals) — focused on tending to their Canadian fans: their self-titled 2015 EP helped put the trio on the map, and they played sets at Pride Toronto, Hillside, Rifflandia, CBC Music Festival and Osheaga, among others. Billboard spoke to Bensimon about the new song and lyric video, Caveboy’s plans for the U.S., what to expect from the new album and how they mentor young non-male musicians.
Lyric videos used to be a static graphic with the words, but now artists go all-out. Is there significance to the gold nuggets, red rose, the hand, jewelry, the crown?
Totally. This song is about liberation, and the moment when you wake up one morning and realize that you’re okay after feeling trauma or having a hard time for a while. It’s that moment where you suddenly realize that you’ve been set free from that pain and suffering. When we had written the song originally, it always felt like this palace-y vibe. The original title was “In A Palace” — we like to sometimes create these worlds when we’re writing a song, just to give ourselves more imagery. When we were talking with Britt about concepts, we really liked the idea of things being reflected in the mirror, like the story being told. The silk is representing part of the song and the title. Watching what she did feels right for the lyrics and the vibe. We wanted to do something that was not just a lyric randomly on a blank screen, but have a bit of a story and vintage imagery associated with it.
There’s an increased focus on mental health in modern society. It sounds like this lyric is more inspired by situational depression rather than clinical?
Yeah, I’d say so. It can be a long-term situation. Probably for the three of us, we can associate it with something different in our lives. But in the end, it’s that realization, and you don’t even expect it, when you wake up and you feel totally fine for the first day in as long as you can remember. That “Hey yeah” chant in the chorus is a release, and that letting go and ridding yourself of all that has been in the last however long it was before you felt that release.
What does the line “I trade my silk for gold” mean to you?
You trade in something good that you don’t realize is bad at all, for something else that’s just as good or better. Sometimes when you’re going through that rough time, you don’t even see it or realize that there’s a layer there that is not feeling right or you’re either on edge all the time, and then one day you wake up and you’ve just transitioned into a new place that is almost better, but can also feel just as good as the silk, but in a different way.
What can you reveal about your debut album?
It’s quite a special album for us, because it feels like we’ve been writing it for so long. A lot of these songs come from so many experiences and relationship and mostly growth — whether that’s growing into something, growing out of something, growing pains, growing up, relationship to family and friends and romantic relationships, and how they’ve all shifted so much in the lives of the three of us. The three of us have really been there for each other through all these things. And these songs come from collective and individual experiences. It’s so personal to the three of us, and we’re really quite proud of it.
I remember you went to Ireland to record a couple of years ago.
Yeah. We did some songs there. It was a very special experience. We were in the middle of a recording studio in a castle, in the literal middle point of Ireland. Actually, in “Silk For Gold,” those “Hey yeah’s” were a group of people we were with in Ireland and we recorded those at the studio. Then, we took some pieces from there and we jumped in the studio with Derek. It finalized all the pieces of the puzzle and he really helped shape that. The album is called Night In The Park, Kiss In The Dark.
We had written about 30 songs that were contenders for the album, and then when we met Derek, we just loved stuff that he was doing and he seemed to have a very similar vision and sound for the record. We decided to bring all the songs in to him and go through them and pick which ones made the most sense with each other and the ones that felt the strongest and cut it down to 10 songs.
What are your plans for the U.S.?
For this single, it’s the first time that we’re trying out U.S. radio, which is really exciting. And with that, we’re going to be dipping down to the U.S. — nothing announced yet, but going down to New York and surrounding areas on the east coast, ‘cause we’re in Montreal, so it’s all fairly close. Just trying to support the single and support whatever happens with radio.
Are you involved with any activism, or it is more unspoken that people in the queer community can be assured of a safe space as a Caveboy fan?
We’re always trying to support our communities and the things we believe in, and also being just human beings and looked out for the music that we make, as opposed to our identities, but also supporting our identities. We do some volunteer work with Rock Camp For Girls And Gender Non-Conforming Youth, which is an organization in Montreal. I believe it’s national. They create a rock camp space and we’ve all been volunteers there and band coaches. We’ve performed in their lunchtime hour as mentors and as inspiration for young non-male identifying musicians who are just trying to figure out if there’s space for them in these kinds of industries, and in the world, really. We try to do as much work as we can to show support for our communities and show that there is room for them.