The Hauntingly Beautiful Music of Partisan…

The three original members of Milwaukee’s Partisan had fate’s fortune to be re-introduced at a friends’ birthday party following a lengthy separation after years of attending high school together. Frank Knaebe (guitar, vocals, bass, noises), Katie Kralik (bass, harmonium, guitar, vocals) and Charlie Hoehnen (guitar, vocals) had all met in their formative musical years, and decided that playing music together would be the best way to erase those separated years. Eventually, Scott James Emmerich (drums, noises) added himself to the mix, and what started out as a ‘quieter vocal group’, became something a bit more amplified and complex.

Partisan’s sound is all at once intense and cavernous, spacious enough to let reverb properly ring and densely layered enough to create an almost symphonic version of their songs written in the simplistic style of old-time folk ballads. Parts Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ Murder Ballads, parts ‘sad-core’ groups such as Low and Ida and parts American Revolutionary War music, Partisan relies heavily on the storytelling of their almost dirge-y, but chillingly captivating vocals combined with the eerieness of a harmonium accompaniment and loaded with the aforementioned reverb.

The band has previously-released music, but plans to self-release a CD/LP entitled An Apparatus the Size of the Universe in the very near future. They are also active participants in the Borg Ward Collective and perform live as often as they can, which they will be doing tonight at the Y-Not III.

Catch Partisan at the Y-Not III at 1854 E. Kenilworth at 7 p.m. Also playing are Silentium Amoris (MKE), Christopher Bell (NY) and Over the Atlantic (NZ).

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2 Responses to “The Hauntingly Beautiful Music of Partisan…”

  1. jebreject Says:


  2. Charles Says:

    Agrees. Also Partisan is fortifying the old folk song structures with serpentine vocal arrangements and their wurlitzer cavalry on this new record. Urban Militia Music.

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