Duo over­whelmed by on­line re­ac­tions

North Bay Nugget - - NEWS - BY SARA HARASYM

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

Sara HaraSym/For Post­media

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.

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