Partner’s 2017 debut album In Search of Lost Time still logs regular listens in my household. It’s an album filled with catchy guitar pop that lays heavy on the distortion pedal while sweetening the mix with sweet yet knowing vocals, and lyrics that range from silly to acerbic. When I saw the band at the beginning of last year, co-songwriters Josée Caron and Lucy Niles were augmented by a crack backing band that knew how to turn up the volume but still allow the hooks to blast through.
Partner recently released their Saturday The 14th EP to sate appetites as they prepare to work on the next full-length, and it’s a distinct right turn away from their “smart rock” sound. Opening with the goofy dance pop of “Fun For Everyone (Minions)” and its chorus of “Do you ever want to dance like a Minion / and not give a care about anyone’s opinion / It would be fun, fun, fun for everyone.” Yeah, not exactly deep stuff going on here, but Partner doesn’t care since they just want to stretch their chops into unfamiliar territory.
The remainder of the EP is more introspective—and at times just as silly, including an ode to Long and McQuade, the Canadian version of Guitar Center—and the whole thing actually has more in common with some of the duo’s early DIY recordings than their polished debut. In fact I was told the band describes it as “getting their ya-yas” out before the next album. So if you’re already a fan of the band, you should check this out. If you’re not, hit up their debut and then check this out.
The band is on the road right now, and it’s been a while since Partner was last in Chicago, so I’m really looking forward to their show at The Hideout this Sunday night. I’m told the group is bringing the rock into town, so don’t expect the show to mirror the quirkiness of the current EP. But you should expect to have a lot of fun.