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Boy Harsher The Runner (Original Soundtrack) Nude Club/City Slang


It feels inevitable that Boy Harsher have finally made a horror film. The duo met at film school and have created sinister, thickly atmospheric darkwave since their debut EP in 2014. Jae Matthews’ lyrics have always been creepy and corporeal, teasing out fantasies and nightmares from Augustus Muller’s sparse, industrial production. Now, those ghost stories have become flesh and blood: the film’s trailer follows a bloodied woman sprinting through an endless forest, more hunter than prey.

The Runner OST is an extension of Boy Harsher’s stylised, 80s indebted sound. It’s still rooted in claustrophobic, gothy glamour, but there’s a little more breathing space. Eerily peppy new wave track Autonomy (featuring Cooper B. Handy from Lucy) is paranoid and romantic – “They’re on to me/ Like they’re on to you” – and the largely instrumental The Ride Home transmits genuine terror in its vast expanses of silence.

The wild escapism of running – towards and away – was already a theme on their 2019 album Careful, but The Runner takes it to the melodramatic max. “Don’t you say my name,” warns Matthews on the tense album opener Tower, as if bargaining with the devil. “Can I believe you?” she whispers, before she answers her own question with a guttural, panicked scream. Thrilling.