After an almost three-year studio hiatus following the resounding success of his 2018 debut album, award-winning Edmonton-based Métis musician Brandon Baker of Electric Religious has had a busy 2021.
Along with seeing his first single of 2021, “Catherine” reach #1 on Sirius XM, the multifaceted musician has become a mainstay on multiple Canadian radio and streaming platforms which, in addition to his uniquely captivating guitar-driven sound, has helped to earn him a Métis Artist of the Year nomination at the 2021 Summer Solstice Indegenous Music Awards.
With his sophomore album, Tragic Lover, slated for release in the very near future, we decided it would be a great time to catch up with the rising singer-songwriter-guitarist extraordinaire to find out where he likes to go for food and drink in his current home base of Edmonton.
My partner, Olivia, and I along with our little boy, Arthur, really, like really, enjoy heading down to 124 Street to stop in at Duchess Bake Shop and pick up a few lattes and some croissants. Olivia enjoys their plain croissants, but Arthur and I go for the Pain au Chocolat.
They’re fluffy, flavourful, and the chocolate is from Valrhona, a French chocolate producer based in Tain-l'Hermitage, and some of my favourite chocolate in the world. Lovely stuff! I should also mention that their Key Lime Tart is off the chain.
My personal favourite spot for lunch is, and always has been, the Next Act. On days where I have the opportunity, I’ll grab a book from Wee Book Inn, Audrey’s, or any one of the quaint bookshops found in YEG, and head to the Next Act for a pint and a burger.
I’ll usually order whatever IPA is on tap at the time, and whatever spicy offering that’s on the burger menu. I love spicy food, and I love burgers, so naturally I go for it. As spicy as you can make it, please!
The staff are all absolute gems of human beings, and I can always count on good conversations, and usually I’ll see a friend or two come through while I’m there. It’s a strong community of folk over there. Much love to the team.
On special occasions, scratch that… on any occasion, the team at Corso 32 always delivers. We love going there to enjoy high quality Italian food, courtesy of chef Daniel Costa, and his culinary team of sustenance wizards.
The house-made Ricotta, the fresh bread, the fried Talegio, the Trout, and the wine. Drool. I like transitioning from white to red during dinner, and Olivia loves Barolo, but we’re always in good hands with the suggestions made by the ever discerning wait staff.
Some evenings we’ll head to their next door uber-chic sister spot, Bar Bricco, for some agnolotti to tide us over until our reservation time. I cannot wait for them to open up again, which will be in early 2022, I believe.
I worked behind the stick as a bartender for many years, and I take my cocktails pretty seriously. Some of my friends might say a little too seriously, but I think we should always enjoy what’s in our glasses, and our glasses should always be full! When on the search for a great cocktail, Edmonton is full of amazing options.
For me, it’s a chance to see old friends and colleagues, and keep a pulse on the scene here. Although I haven’t mixed a drink behind a bar in some time, I still really appreciate the creativity and presentation of a well-made drink. I tend to stick to classics, and straight pours of interesting spirits, fortified wines, and aperitif/digestif-style products. My favourite cocktail is a 5:1 Dry Martini with a twist. My go to spot for a drink is Clementine.
The team there can always expect a visit from me after a show if I’m gigging downtown. A beautiful room, and some great friends working there, it is somewhere I can go to nerd out on cocktail recipes, or just sit quietly and think. I always enjoy myself at that spot.