Although the past year and a half has left us with a live music-shaped hole in our hearts, the pandemic has presented some musicians with an unprecedented combination of opportunity and inspiration that has led to groundbreaking new material.
The latest EP from Calgary-based rock duo Miesha and The Spanks is one such project. While some of the new album was written prior to the pandemic, the band utilized the stretch of lengthy lockdowns to reimagine their initial concept and produce a seven-track collection of singles that offer a dynamic mixture of punk, garage, and hard rock.
Since its release in April, the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed 2018 album Girls Girls Girls has quickly made its way to the ears of listeners across the country after featuring on playlists like CBC Radio 3 and BBC Music 6 Recommends, and national broadcasts like The Strombo Show and The Rodney Bingenheimer Show.
We recently caught up with the dynamic Calgary-based duo, who filled us in on all of their favourite places to stop for food and drink when they’re touring their home province.
Miesha: Lucky for us, our first session in Lethbridge was a week before the pandemic, and we got to check out a really great breakfast place that we hoped would become our regular spot for the duration of recording. Chef Stella seemed like the locals' regular spot, it was warm and friendly and everyone knew each other.
They have this big breakfast plate called Mama's Italian Breakfast which is basically poached eggs in Italian tomato sauce with hash and garlic toast. Incredible. Topped with a mini flag of Italy.
Sean: Galaxie Diner. It's an amazing classic diner breakfast and since I've worked there for a hundred years it's impossible not to mention.
Miesha: In Edmonton we have to stop at DaDeO. It's been a minute since we could keep this tradition going, and it's definitely a destination that I miss a lot. It's New Orleans' Cajun in a 50s style diner, and both the atmosphere and food are amazing.
My favs are the jambalaya, gumbo, and catfish po' boys. It's also a tradition to get a round of their bloody Mary oyster shots–that's the drink, in a shot glass, with a fresh oyster. It's good.
Sean: The Chuck Wagon Cafe in Turner Valley. The burger is insane because the meat is fresh from the valley and the steaks are from the owner's ranch–you can't beat the meat there.
Miesha: I love when we play The Buckingham in Edmonton because we also get treated to their killer vegan fare. Their vegan pub food comes from the genius behind our favourite food truck Sailin' On, which was often found parked outside of Wunderbar (RIP). My fav is the Jumbo with Cheese. Vegan donair?? I'm not even vegan and I love this stuff.
Sean: Modern Ocean here in Calgary. Roll in early for the Buck n’ Shuck and then treat yourself to fresh local fish or something from the coast. Also the drinks are killer.
Miesha: I'm going to dip back to Lethbridge because it's probably the only city other than home that I spent any time in this year. What I love about Owl Acoustic Lounge is that it's where we're going to find members of the Lethbridge music community in the wild. We went for drinks after our first day in the studio, pulled up to the bar, and realized quickly we were sitting next to the amazing Shaela Miller.
Lethbridge is a real small-town city, which being a small-town kid I love, and besides having some rad local beers, poutines, and good vibes, Owl Acoustic Lounge is also the hub of the local music scene.
Sean: I've spent the year at my secret local watering hole, Mugs Pub. I'm not picking Mugs for the fancy cocktails, but because there's always a crazy special on and I can drink on a budget. Something we probably all need this year.