Music

New Love Underground hitting the road for the first time

Halifax dream-pop outfit New Love Underground is hitting the road — a week long tour across Eastern and Central Canada

New Love Underground
Valentine’s Day fits in with New Love Underground’s big tour theme: love   Mitchell Mullen

Dream-pop heartstring pullers New Love Underground are braving the snowy highways of Eastern Canada to kick off their first tour this weekend.

The four-piece band will be playing Halifax with a show at the tried-and-true Gus’ Pub on Saturday, Feb. 13, and have dates set for shows in Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Peterborough and Guelph.

The band was born out of a long-distance collaboration between Eliza Niemi, of Halifax bands Mauno and Loveland, and Mike Fong of the Wayo.

Their first EP, TBH, released in March 2015 was recorded while Fong was living in Toronto and Niemi in Halifax. In August, Fong moved back to Halifax and the band played their first show in October.

Since then they’ve added two members, John Lake and Erin MacDonald who both play in Loveland with Niemi.

Love is a big theme for these musicians and considering it’s going to be Valentine’s Day, it’ll be a big theme for the tour.

Fong and Niemi are veterans of the tour circuit with their other projects. This tour isn’t just a first tour for the band.

“It’s John and my first tour,” laughs MacDonald.  

“I’m super excited,” says Lake. “This is something totally new.”

The band is playing Quebec City on Valentine’s Day and Niemi says she’s looking forward to that show the most.

“Quebec City’s really cool and I don’t get to play there that often,” she says. “People have a really hard time booking shows there, but I met the right person the last time I was in the city and somehow they’re throwing us a show.”

The band is driving all the way from Halifax to Guelph in a Hyundai Accent that belongs to Fong.

“It’s the Wayo’s old tour mobile, so it’s trusty and well-seasoned,” says Fong.

The band is paying for the tour out of pocket, but is hoping that a few successful shows will help them cover costs.

New Love Underground mid-practice
New Love Underground practising for their upcoming tour.   Mitchell Mullen

“We have what seems like will be well-attended shows to cover gas, hopefully,” says Niemi. “We have the kickoff show at Gus’ which will fund the gas to Quebec.”

New Love Underground won’t be alone on the road over the next few weeks. In fact, they’ll be sharing the stage with other Halifax bands on dates across the tour.

“We’re playing with Vulva Culture and Kurt Inder in Toronto,” says Niemi. “Then we somehow stumbled upon a show with Walrus and Monomyth in Montreal, which is kind of hilarious.”

For the shows in Quebec, Niemi has been brushing up on her French, or at least wants to leave that impression.

“I’m trying to learn some French stage banter,” said Niemi. “I wrote out a thing in English and got my bilingual roommate to translate it for me so I’m saying in French ‘I have no idea what I’m saying.'”

The tour gets going at 10 p.m. Saturday night at Gus’ pub on Agricola Street.