September 8, 2017

LP: Partner - In Search Of Lost Time

Partner lives up to their hype on their debut album.

Imagine if the woman Rivers Cuomo was crushing on in “Pink Triangle” listened to nothing but classic rock and started a band with her best friend. You don’t have to imagine: that band is real, queer, Canadian, and named Partner. Led by Josée Caron and Lucy Niles, the pair formed Partner in Sackville, New Brunswick, but recently relocated to Windsor, Ontario. Live, the group has been touring as a five-piece for two years and winning over a cult following, all without the release of a full-length album. Suffice to say, it was well worth the wait.

In Search Of Lost Time is one hell of a debut, solidifying Partner’s place in the 90s rock renaissance du jour. The 19-track album is ripe with sonic delights that range from silly to sincere, including skits with band in-jokes like obsessing over lesbian rock icon, Melissa Etheridge. Partner’s goofy side is further showcased on songs like “Daytime TV,” “Sex Object,” and “Everybody Knows,” odes to Judge Judy, adult toys, and being visibly intoxicated in the grocery store’s dairy section respectively. Still, Partner’s stoner sense of humur is tempered by sincere love songs like “Women of Dreams,” “Ambassador To Ecstasy,” and standout single “Play The Field,” a new wave-inspired number about jock girl lust that contains the best line on the whole album: “I scored my only basket of the season / It was on my own team.” Caron and Niles are masterful songwriters, musicians and show-women, but Partner’s strength ultimately lies in their sound: In Search Of Lost Time is impeccably polished and nearly impossible to listen to without shredding some serious air guitar and doing a Blink-182 punk jump off your bed. A comparison to mid-90s Weezer is the most accurate, given the group’s fondness for catchy pop punk hooks and extended metal solos (reading the liner notes, this comparison is noteworthy considering the album was mixed by recording engineer Chris Shaw, who also mixed The Blue Album two decades ago). Fingers crossed that this Christmas, 13-year-old girls obsessed with rock’n’roll will be given a copy of Partner’s album instead of Pinkerton - now that’s a world I want to live in.


Listen to Partner here.


Alanna Why is a musician and writer from Ottawa, ON., Canada. She used to play in the pop-punk band BB Cream and is currently working on her upcoming musical project, So Sensitive. Follow her on Twitter @alanna_why.