Loving Waxes Nostalgic at Foufounes Électrique

When I heard Loving, a small Canadian band from Victoria, British Columbia, was playing Montréal's iconic Foufounes Électrique, located in the heart of the Montréal nightlife district on Ste Catherine Est, I knew I had to grab tickets. Loving’s music has been a staple in my playlists for years, with quaint, lullaby-esque melodies by producer and multi-instrumentalist, David Parry, and ever-comforting and relatable lyrics by brothers, Lucas and Jesse Henderson. Their radiantly nostalgic sound is like a taste of home, and as their name suggests, you can practically hear the love emanating from the heart of the band.

Despite Foufounes Électrique’s hardcore punk roots, the intimate venue, with its mere 615-person capacity, was the perfect fit for the band to play. Loving’s soft, folk-pop songs felt like a hug. I hadn’t realized until the show just how popular they had become, however, the crowd they amassed was certainly impressive and made me reflect on how far they have come as a band. They currently boast 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify, but they still managed to carry their small-town spirit and folk roots through their sound. 

While their set list prominently featured songs from their recently released (February 2024) album, Any Light, such as “No Mast,” “Medicine” and “Uncanny Valley,” the band treated their fans to a few of their early classics as well. The energy level of the gently swaying crowd intensified noticeably when they served up crowd favourites, such as “Sweet Fruit,” “Forgot Again” and “Bowlly Goes Dancing Drunk into the Future,” from their self-titled debut album, Loving, as well as songs like, “Only She Knows” and “Visions,” from their album If I am Only My Thoughts

Despite the band's virtually nonexistent between-song banter, they were clearly a group of very dedicated musicians. In contrast, their opening act, Fog Lake (Newfoundland’s Aaron Powell), was far more engaging with the crowd. He played a few of his entrancing, airy pop singles, such as, “Almost Fantasy” and “Dinosaur,” as well as a heartfelt cover of Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” (a personal all-time favourite song of mine) in honour of Young’s songs being put back on Spotify. Each brought a different quality through their music and crowd engagement, but both were incredibly technically adept and created an atmospherically beautiful sonic landscape.

Loving’s sound and vocal quality were pitch-perfect, nearly identical to their recorded sound but amplified. The beat from the drums, played by Justin Devries, added heft to their otherwise light and airy instrumentals. This intriguing juxtaposition added dimension to their tracks and imposed a different quality from their recorded music. Despite Lucas Henderson departure from the band to pursue personal musical projects upon the release of their latest album, there was no noticeable gap in the quality of the interpretations of the album tracks. 

Watching Loving grow steadily as a band over the years, I am excited to see where this new album and chapter takes them. The Canadian double bill of Fog Lake and Loving made for an enchanting evening, leaving me in a dream-like state as I left the concert into the snowy and numbingly cold March Montréal night.