Photo: Kate Killet

Partner: East Coast Queer Duo Go Country

Lucy Niles and Josée Caron embrace their shared rural roots in their latest single, “Tell You Off’.” “I’ve heard it described as hipster country and shit, but it’s not. It’s real country”, insists Niles with peppy indignation. The new release comes ahead of their first ‘official’ five track EP, Saturday the 14th, which lands April 5.

“But our first actual EP was called Healthy Release and it’s only available on tape,” explains Niles. “It’s actually not available. At all. “Because we’ve run out,” Caron pitches in. The duo go on to explain the surreal experience of trying to listen to their own music online and drawing a blank. “It’s weird! We’re like the Nardwuars of the world,” laughs Niles.

Partner are a band known for their experimental sound and observational comedy, which allows for the creation of intriguing and often hilarious soundscapes, lavishly exemplified by the farmyard medley that introduces the vivid backdrop of “Tell You Off.” “We never stated anywhere that the song is from the point of view of a kid, but it is. It’s about our sketchy neighbourhoods that we grew up in. It’s about being a kid and some other kid pisses you off.”

For Caron and Niles, the songwriting process often takes the form of retribution. It’s about allowing yourself the opportunity to consider how you *wish* you’d have responded to a situation. “Writing a song is getting to say exactly what you want to say, after taking the time to think about it,” laughs Caron. “It’s that ‘get off my lawn!’ energy.”

Despite their latest foray into “real life country,” Partner describe their overall sound as post-gothic rock. But both agree that this description doesn’t do justice to the many facets of their musical personality. “I guess what unifies it isn’t the sound, but the spirit. And that’s hard to describe. I think the spirit is fun loving and experimental.”

Caron hits the nail on the head when she says, “You know how Will Smith plays Will Smith in The Fresh Prince? Well Partner is Lucy and Josée playing Lucy and Josée. The root of it is our shared experience, but what usually ends up coming out is silliness, because when we get together we just have a lot of laughs.”

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