There’s nothing like a slow moving cement truck to remind you that you need to put the brakes on life every now and then, force yourself to stop and truly experience what’s going on around you. That’s what happened on my morning commute a few days back. Minutes into my daily drive, I found myself behind one of these lumbering motorized beasts. Forced into a slow crawl on a long enough stretch of single lane road, my focus honed in on the delectable and detached electronic sounds of “Hull”, the first song off Kroy’s Scavenger.
It wasn’t so much the sophisticated, slow burning R&B inspired rhythm of the track, or it’s clean, slick, minimalist production that drew me in. It was Camille Poliquin singing about stabbing the hull and crushing skulls. In a most beautifully breathy falsetto she concede that the fight’s not in her like it once was. “I’m drowning bath of blood on the floor,” she pleads, “I want to heal but can’t stop to feel.”
Poliquin is one half of Milk & Bone, but before joining forces with Laurence Lafond-Beaulne in that project, she was making solo recordings under the name Kroy. Though not that stylistically different than the music she makes with Lafond-Beaulne, Poliquin saves her most deeply intimate and vulnerable songwriting for her solo work. Dark, cold imagery abounds on Scavenger, probably nowhere more so than on “Learn,” where Poliquin’s bubbly synth pop sensibilities are starkly contrasted by the closing verse: “We keep waiting for a sign that it’s our time / But by the time we’re ready / By the time it’s time / You’ll be dead / And I’ll be happy / You’ll be dead / And I’ll be happy”.
Perhaps Poliquin is herself the titular scavenger, searching through discarded emotional entrails for meat and marrow to feed her musical muse. Even when a relationship looks as positive and promising as it does on closer “Go”, she’s expecting the good times won’t last too long, suggesting “I won’t keep you if you wanna go”. It’s a reticent offer, but by the time you make it to the end of Scavenger, Kroy’s got you firmly in her musical hooks. Resistance is futile, and utterly unwarranted.