After the highly praised release of her debut album For the Feminine, by the Feminine, Canadian singer-songwriter, Lindsay Kay, is finally coming home. Although Kay now calls L.A. home, this month, she is returning to her hometown of Calgary to perform for the first time in three years at the Central Public Library.
In an industry that is often focused on finding the next big formulaic radio hit, Kay stands out thanks to her unique emotion-evoking, melancholic lyrics and her clearly established vision. Fighting misogyny and empowering women is paramount to Kay. Her latest album features an all-female cast and the album itself centres around women’s experiences and the struggle to break gender stereotypes in a largely male-dominated business.
Last week, just in time for International Women’s Day, Kay released a special behind-the-scenes video of her single, "Lush Life", wherein she describes the process of creating her version of the Billy Strayhorn classic. As one of the first openly gay men in the jazz community, Strayhorn’s lyrics are considered by Kay to be both inspiring and emancipating. On March 30, Kay will hope to provide the same to Calgarians, with an intimate performance of the album, with all proceeds from ticket sales going toward Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.
"I am so incredibly excited to bring the music from For the Feminine, by the Feminine back home," says Kay. "It's been far too long since I have performed in Calgary, and it's such a joy to be able to share my work with the community that has supported me since the beginning. Bringing entirely female-made music and art to the city that I grew up in feels so special, and I have been working really hard to design a concert that is unique, beautiful, and unlike any live music experience folks have seen. I can't wait!"
While Kay is obviously looking forward to sharing her refined musical storytelling talents with her hometown, one thing she says she can’t wait to do is revisit all her favourite food and drink destinations. We sat down with the multifaceted musician to find out exactly what she looks forward to most about Calgary’s culinary scene.
Favourite Canadian food
I haven't lived in Canada for the past few years, and I have to admit, the food I miss most is so cliché: poutine! I lived in Vancouver for a short time right after graduating Berklee, and I put away a lot of poutine in a short number of months. It really didn't matter what occasion it was or if there was alcohol involved or not; I could always go for some poutine, morning, noon, or night. Crispy fries, hot gravy, melting cheese curds, a little green onion... yum. My mouth is watering just thinking about it now. There's a spot in L.A. that does poutine, but it's just so... bad. They haven't quite figured it out down here yet.
Breakfast and brunch
Nellies, specifically the now closed location on 17th Ave across from Western Canada High School (where I went to school). I wasn't exactly the most dedicated academic, especially in my last few years of high school when I had fully mentally checked out and just wanted to get on with being a musician. Needless to say, there were a lot of absences on those last few report cards, and pretty much any time I wasn't in class, I was hanging out at Nellie's, reading--Twilight probably--and eating mac and cheese and corn bread and salad. Their poppy seed salad dressing was so good. I have yet to find a comparable one.
Riverbend Peking House! I grew up in the SE suburb Riverbend, and going to this Chinese restaurant was a big family tradition of ours. I think it used to be called Peking Peking? Or maybe that's just what we called it. We would order massive amounts of ginger chicken and fried rice and chicken in black bean sauce and lo mein, and just live off the leftovers for days, Gilmore Girls style. My Dad tells me stories about hanging out at this restaurant before I was born, right when the place opened, and the chef would use him as a guinea pig to try out new recipes.
Coffee shop and bakery
The Lazy Loaf and Kettle. I was obsessed with their peanut butter marshmallow bars growing up. We didn't live anywhere near that neighbourhood and only stopped in a few times a year, so when we did, it was a massive treat. It's also just so cute and cozy in there, and I like that they have "build your own sandwich" forms. The ideal lunch option for control freaks like me.