Montreal Band Caveboy Plays Debut Osheaga Show

Trio Released First EP Last Year, Working on Full-Length Album

Lana Cooney, Isabelle Banos, and Michelle Bensimon, the trio behind Caveboy, played Osheaga last Friday, which was the first time for the Montrealers. Photo Marie Briere de la Hosseraye
Banos, Cooney, and Bensimon said they were proud of their performance at the music festival. Photo Marie Briere de la Hosseraye
Caveboy performed its first Osheaga last Friday, which they called a dream performance. Photo Marie Briere de la Hosseraye

It was on a road trip to play a show in Toronto when Michelle Bensimon, Isabelle Banos, and Lana Cooney realized they found the name.

“Diamond Bones” was what they used to call themselves. “It had no meaning,” Bensimon, the lead singer, bluntly remembered.

Caveboy is what they’re now called, and the trio from Montreal’s West Island agree that the change led to a new direction and vision.

“The name comes from childhood and similar upbringings,” Bensimon explained. “It’s like crazy wild kids who are also sensitive.”

It has been a wild year for the group as they released their first EP—titled Caveboy— last October and performed at Montreal’s annual summer music festival, Osheaga, this past weekend.

“Nice crowd, the sun was shining—we were super happy about it,” Bensimon said about their set on Friday. “Definitely the number one dream show we had for a long time.”

“Dreamy synth pop” is how they describe their music. Bensimon says their sound has become more focused since she officially joined the group about four years ago. Banos and Cooney first met at Dawson College and have been playing together for almost ten years.

Bombay Bicycle Club, Florence and the Machine, and Metric—“hybrids of rock and electronic”—are some of the bands Bensimon listed to as inspirations. And it’s easy to hear their influence in Caveboy’s EP.

There’s elements of The XX too, especially in the song, “Muscle Memory,” and a hint of Haim, another poppy trio. Where they really drew influence from was the beginnings of synth and pop—the 80’s, Cooney says.

Their songs embodies the music their parents showed them growing up, Bensimon says.

Their music videos have begun picking up traction too, with the official one for “In the Grottos” having over 17,000 views. The trio have exclusively worked with director Amit Kehar, another person Banos and Cooney met at Dawson while studying in a media film program.

“We really try to honour our roots and work with Montreal based people as much as we can,” Cooney explained.

“We really try to honour our roots and work with Montreal based people as much as we can,” —Lana Cooney, Caveboy’s drummer

So far, they think their debut work has been well received, and the next plan is to create a full-length album, which will include some new songs they played at Osheaga.

Touring some more is also on the agenda, Bensimon says. They haven’t played many shows around Montreal, but Ontario has become a recurring destination. Cooney dubbed it “Tour-tario.” Germany is another place where they have a big following.

“Maybe we should go over there,” Bensimon quipped.

A European tour might be possible after playing Osheaga on Friday. “It feels like something’s in the air,” Bensimon said when asked if they believe they’re onto something special. “It feels different now.”

“People are wearing our t-shirts now,” Cooney added. “It’s nice to see our hard work paying off.”