Boy Harsher 'The Runner (Original Soundtrack)' Album review by Adam Fink for Northern Transmissions

City Slang/Nude City

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Boy Harsher

The Runner (Original Soundtrack)

Boy Harsher has had an interesting trajectory. It’s one that any band or artist would be grateful for. Crafting the type of music that you like, without any compromise and having it being embraced by not only those in their scene but by an audience that exists outside of it. The Georgia bred, Massachusetts based group are purveyors in darkwave electronic pop and their success outside of that community goes a long way to show you that the honest way they approach their craft is so much more universal than just genre pastiche. The duo, made up of Augustus Muller and Jae Matthews, have been releasing and touring consistently since 2014 and when the pandemic hit they, like many others, needed to pivot from what they were doing and recalibrate things. With the chaos that was happening throughout the world the pair, who originally met in film school, took off back to Massachusetts and began working on moody, cinematic sketches which would later become The Runner, Boy Harsher’s fifth album and soundtrack to the short film they wrote, produced and directed. The film, described as “a searching and subtle horror film attached to a meta-style “documentary” about Boy

Harsher’s recording process”, is something that we haven’t been privy too at the moment but the soundtrack doesn’t leave us any doubt that it is something we absolutely need to see.

Starting with “The Tower”, the only song on the album that Boy Harsher performed live previously, and its themes of desire and destruction, set the tone perfectly for what is to come. Muller’s anguished yells over Matthew’s pulsating synth lines capture the kind of tension that many horror aficionados, as well as fans of great music in general, crave. The endeavor is just as polished as Boy Harsher’s last release, 2019’s Careful, but doesn’t sacrifice any tension or emotion because of it. Aside from Muller, the soundtrack also features guest appearances from Cooper B. Handy aka Lucy on the new wave hit “Autonomy”, that wouldn’t feel out of place alongside any Depeche Mode record in the 80s, and Mariana Saldaña of the band Boan on the dance rave up “Machina”. These divergent styles don’t detract from the cohesion of the record but only add to fully fleshed out cinematic experience you would have from any motion picture soundtrack.

With what the world has been through the last couple years and with what the band themselves have been through, it’s amazing to see the type of honesty and openness these two artists have to their craft. This amount of work alone seems overwhelming but to have it all come out so seemingly effortless is just another paean to Muller and Matthews work ethic and commitment to their trade. While it’s only a matter of time until we are able to see what The Runner looks like, it’s nice to know beforehand that it’s going to sound absolutely amazing.

Pre-order The Runner (Original Soundtrack) by Boy Harsher HERE