Partner make massive power-pop celebrating queer Canadian life for all its humor and foibles | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Partner make massive power-pop celebrating queer Canadian life for all its humor and foibles 

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Colin Medley

On the Bandcamp biography for Partner, a Canadian rock group led by guitarists and singers Josée Caron and Lucy Niles, the duo say they’re best friends. From the sound of their debut, September’s In Search of Lost Time (You’ve Changed), that’s easy to believe. The album’s arsenal of muscular guitars, effervescent vocal harmonies, and indestructible, catchy melodies screams “fun”—specifically, the kind of fun that comes from spending time with someone who knows you inside and out. Caron and Niles play their uproarious tunes with a lighthearted charm and swagger, and they sing about the minutiae of the lives of gay potheads with a sense of purpose that makes their songs about trashy television programs (“Daytime TV”) or finding a roommate’s sex toy (“Sex Object”) sound easily blissful. As Niles told Stereogum last year, their songwriting direction came out of their chemistry as friends: “We’re definitely always goofing around, but I think we got better at realizing that you could talk about serious stuff sometimes but without, like, being serious.” But being queer is itself political—conservative politicians continue to rail against homosexuality with an insane fervor—so there’s a significance baked into Partner’s music; Caron and Niles present themselves as they are—personalities and humor intact—reminding us that showing people the corners of your life can be as serious and vital as any overt social commentary.   v


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