The Runner (Original Soundtrack)
Nude Club Records
21st January 2022
CD, vinyl, cassette, download & streaming
Give Me A Reason
[feat. Cooper B. Handy]
The Ride Home
[feat. Mariana Saldaña]
Since 2014, Jae Matthews and Augustus Muller have steadily released what some might call the gold standard of darkwave and new industrial, under the monikerBoy Harsher*. Their first EP, Lesser Man, was originally released on a small run of cassettes, but then uploaded by a fan onto YouTube. The album, and most notablythe single “Pain”, rapidly gained online traction and became an underground hit. The exposure from this and their subsequent releases (Yr Body is Nothing, 2016, Country Girl EP, 2017) propelled the band into extensive tours, selling out shows in the United States and Europe.
Boy Harsher rode this momentum to their most recent album – Careful, released in 2019. Described as their most polished and produced record to date, Carefulreceived critical acclaim: “Careful is Boy Harsher at their world’s most fully fleshed-out…it’s straight-up brimming with hits, an album that doesn’t quit; a mountainousrecord with ecstatic highs and harsh lows” – Leah Mandel, NPR. Boy Harsher toured the circuit with Careful, successfully translating the songs into club readyperformances. Live, the Boy Harsher experience is reckless and enveloping, described as “totally losing yourself” (Mandel). The band continued to grow and expand their audience – selling out multiple headlining tours in 2019, with promising future festival dates for the upcoming year. With wind in their sails, they lookedtowards a bright future…
As did so many, until the pandemic changed their plans. Matthews and Muller retreated home to Massachusetts. The future was uncertain for most and music felt very non-essential, in this world with more important priorities. Halfway through the first year of the pandemic, Matthews was met with another surprise: a five dayhospital stay and diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Muller began to work on lonely compositions, while Matthews recovered from and adjusted to the disease. Thechaos of the unknown was a ubiquitous feeling for Boy Harsher during 2020.
Matthews and Muller met in Savanah, Ga while both studying film. Their initial interest in music, began in cinema. Early performances were live scores of VHS videos Matthews made, mostly of young woman staring longingly into the lens, Muller’s ominous drone evoking cryptic narratives. Matthews would write screenplays and Muller would compose score for the non- existent films. They often exchanged marked scripts for cassette tapes filled with sparse melodies. They hoped one day tocreate cinematic content of their own, apparent in their subsequent releases as Boy Harsher.
The global pandemic popularized live-streams, giving audiences the opportunity to see their favorite bands perform. However Boy Harsher was unable to imagine aproper live-stream situation, where intensity and inundation of sound (the BH tenets) were possible. Instead, they started developing a cinematic idea. Expanding the pieces that Muller started in 2020, and combining them with a fictional horror story – the duo generated The Runner, both an album and short film. Due forrelease in early 2022, The Runner, the film, cuts between a searching, subtle horror film and the ‘live-stream’ element of Boy Harsher performing and expounding‘behind the music’ style. The short film explores lust and compulsion – the horrific tendencies of seduction, a favorite Boy Harsher theme. The Runner, the soundtrack, balances dark pop and score tracks, with several surprise vocal features and Boy Harsher standards. Uncertainty enabled the band to experiment newways of publishing content, a needed outlet in an incredibly strange time.
The Runner is an evolutionary moment in the existence of Boy Harsher, a beginning tomore film-bound music in the future.
* what Jae likes to call new American blues.
Full Track Streaming:
“Give Me A Reason”
“Machina” [feat. Mariana Saldaña]
“Cultivated Sound Sessions – CSS070”
Boy Harsher @ Bandcamp
Commercial Streaming Services: