Duo overwhelmed by online reactions
They look like deer in the headlights — stunned, happy, overjoyed deer.
“My jaw hurts from smiling and laughing so much,” says Dayv Poulin, the Sudbury half of new music duo cAbiners. “It’s overwhelming,” adds Loni Konkal, his North Bay-based partner.
On Aug. 31, the cAbiners released a music video simply to provide some content for their new Facebook page. That video, their stripped-down version of Nazareth’s classic Love Hurts, garnered 5,000 views in its first day. Those views continue to climb and at press time they have more than 28,000 on Facebook with an additional nearly 4,000 on YouTube.
“Harmonic bliss, quite simply put,” commented one viewer.
“Your harmonies are amazing!!! Gave me chills,” wrote another.
“It was just unreal how quickly it took off,” says Poulin. “We’re so excited. We can’t stop checking what the views are at.”
Poulin has been a professional musician since he was 15. He’s well known in Sudbury as one third of the popular cover band Toe Jam Tequila, and has an award-winning French solo career, but this is new territory for him.
“It’s funny because I’ve done all these different things with different projects, but nothing like this, and no reaction like this. No excitement like this,” he gushes, smiling and bouncing like a kid on Christmas morning. “People are really latching onto it. They’re really excited about it. And it’s really sweet.
“More than anything, it’s exciting to have people connect to it. It’s overwhelming, but it’s really great.”
Konkal nods in agreement, clearly dumbfounded by this new development. Unlike Poulin, her musical talents had previously only been shared with family and friends around a campfire. The two started writing together about a year ago, and after singing together so many times, Poulin thought, “hmmm, we should perform together.”
“I was dead set against it,” Konkal laughs, but things changed in July when he was finally able to convince her to join him on stage for a couple songs.
“Just that was a big accomplishment,” he says.
Konkal says that when meeting Poulin’s friends and fellow musicians they would ask if she was a musician as well, but she always said no. She didn’t have an album and had never performed on a stage, so she felt she didn’t qualify to call herself a musician. With some performances under her belt, three original songs recorded — done in Quebec this summer while Poulin was recording material for his third French album — and now the fiercely positive online reaction to the Love Hurts video, Konkal is feeling a bit more confident.
“It’s really validating,” she says with a huge smile. “And it speaks to the passion that we feel when we sing and for the music that we’re performing. The fact that other people have an emotional reaction or are touched by it or see value in it, that’s …”
“We weren’t expecting that at all,” Poulin adds. “That’s the thing that’s overwhelming. It’s the reaction. You feel like ‘OK, we’ve struck a chord here.’ ”
He attributes the reception to the simplicity of both the song and the video, which features the harmonizing duo seated on a couch, with Poulin playing guitar and at one point whistling.
“Because it’s just one guitar and two voices, there’s not this whole band with all sorts of distractions,” he says. “That can be cool too – I’ve done a lot of band projects and it’s fun to have colours and keyboards, and sounds and guitar solos, but people hear so much of it … but when you’ve got something like this …”
“It’s a partnership,” Konkal says, finishing his thought. “It’s an equal partnership and there’s some sweetness to that I think.”
The pair released a second video on Sept. 9, which already has more than 14,000 views on Facebook and nearly 3,000 on YouTube. Their cover of Niall Horan’s Slow Hands, again features just the two singers and a guitar, this time in a park.
“We ended up having this audience (while filming Slow Hands) of this older gentleman and his grandson,” says Konkal. “He helped attach our phone to the fence with a piece of rope so we could film the video.
“It’s such a patchwork project in some ways, but it’s also kind of seamlessly coming together. Like it’s falling into place in a beautiful mess.”
CAbiners are not creating big, professional, over-produced videos, and Poulin suggests people are connecting to that aspect of the videos, as well. There’s a purity there, a genuine passion for the music and it comes across loud and clear.
“If there’s a lesson in life — to keep it simple or just be yourself — there’s real truth to that,” says Poulin. “When you’ve got something that’s just good by itself, there’s no need for the bells and whistles.”
Konkal agrees, adding there seems to be a lot of pseudo-realism these days, where people attempt to emulate things that seem real or genuine. She believes audiences can see through this and identify the real passion.
“It’s not something that’s tangible,” says Poulin. “People don’t necessarily say ‘Oh, I’m feeling the passion right now’ or ‘I feel that they’re real.’ It’s not something that you can really grasp, but you just feel it. You know it.
“It just speaks to you because there’s a realness to it.”
It was just unreal how quickly it took off. We’re so excited. We can’t stop checking what the views are at.” dayv Poulin
North Bay’s Loni Konkal and Sudbury’s Dayv Poulin are the cAbiners, a new duo making their mark online. They released a simple video on Aug. 31, of their stripped-down, haunting rendition of Nazareth’s Love Hurts and, to date, the video has more than 28,000 views on Facebook and nearly 4,000 on YouTube. Konkal is a mom of three and full-time teacher with North Bay Parry Sound Catholic District School Board.