Boy Harsher tell us about their favorite movie soundtracks and scores
Boy Harsher's new album The Runner is out today, and it's also the soundtrack to the short horror film of the same name that the duo wrote and directed. The film "follows a strange woman as she travels to a secluded, rural town where her violent compulsions are slowly revealed," while intercutting with the band performing on a public access station. Their soundtrack is a mix of their gothy bangers with more atmospheric instrumentals, as well as collaborations with Cooper B. Handy aka Lucy and Mariana Saldaña of BOAN. You can watch The Runner on the Shudder streaming channel, and you can listen to the soundtrack below.
We asked the band's Jae Matthews and Gus Miller to tell us about their favorite movie scores and soundtracks that served as influences for The Runner. They each gave us five, along with commentary, and you can check out their picks below.
Boy Harsher also just rescheduled their The Runner tour which now includes three nights at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg.
BOY HARSHER - FAVORITE MOVIE SOUNDTRACKS
Cat People (1982) - Giorgio Moroder
This is a very cool beat driven soundtrack, with a legendary collab with David Bowie.
Irreversible (2002) - Thomas Bangalter
My favorite film that I hate to watch. This soundtrack [by Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter] is like Moroder 2.0. It borrows from that early italo sound, but has the new school atmosphere and ambiance worked in.
The Living End (1992) - 16volt
The Living End soundtrack is the vibe we were going for with The Runner: A diverse collection of songs from different artists. It’s basically a playlist of all golden age wax trax stuff. I heard this track for the first time watching the film.
Wings of Desire (1987)- Jürgen Knieper
I can’t think of another score that has as much impact on a film. It's a heavy and beautiful masterpiece.
Chernobyl (2019) - Hildur Guðnadóttir
This is the pinnacle of film composing. Guðnadóttir has the full command of an orchestra, but with the taste and nuance to keep it minimal and work in some electronic elements.
Sicario (2015) - Jóhann Jóhannsson ("The Beast")
When I saw this film in the theater, I remember feeling vibrations, the walls shook. The MASSIVE, deeply bass-heavy Jóhannsson score gives so much. The film takes place on the US / American border, in the midst of drug wars, and the accompanying score evokes that lonely, pervasive fear unique to the desert. ‘The Beast’ in particular provides a sonic experience so close to dread it’s unreal. A must listen - feel free to skip the film, take the CD on a long ride, this score is a true piece of art.
Manhunter (1986) - Shriekback's "Evaporation"
Michael Mann is known for cultivating deep cuts for his films, and he pulls out some gems for Manhunter. I’m curious about the single Michel Rubini song on the track listing (Graham’s theme), but the rest of the tracks are pop over comp. Forget ‘In-a-Gadda-da-Vida’, it's fun for the killer meets blind victim climax, but the real atmospheric moments happen with the ethereal Shriekback songs in the film - usually when Detective Will Graham gets into and narrates the mind of his killer: “You passed the time whittling … dreaming … but when night came ...”
The Bastards (2013) - Tindersticks "Put Your Love in Me"
Tindersticks' score swirls around the characters in this uncompromising thriller that is lustful and elusive and very french. The soundtrack in its entirety is hard to find (someone re-release plz!) but the main ditty - "Put Your Love in Me" is classic sex molasses with Stuart Staples' lush baritone and sparse electronic orchestration.
Near Dark (1987) - Tangerine Dream
I read somewhere that Kathryn Bigelow wanted to do a Western - but at the time vampire flicks were all the rage, so she combined the two. Her compromise is our reward, as Near Dark is the most fun when it comes to outlaw country meets horror flick. And luckily, the german Tangerine Dream created the soundscape. There’s a looping, strange percussion - heard in the attached theme - that appears often in the film, which gives the film this uncanny flair. The score is provocative, haunting, and a little tongue in cheek - the same way Near Dark feels iconic, yet at times plays itself…
Drive (2011) - Cliff Martinez and Various Artists (Kavinsky "Nightcall")
This is a great example of a soundtrack that I listened to often when it was released + even pulled songs from often for mix CDs for crushes or played on repeat in my apartment in 2011 (sorry Lindsay!). Ten years ago, this type of soundtrack felt incredibly novel - with driving synth pop and intense pulsing electronics. It also gave Johnny Jewel + his subsequent projects some heady airwaves. Chromatics' ‘Tick of a Clock’ will forever live in my mind alongside The Driver hitting darkened LA streets. Remember those sexi driving gloves ? This soundtrack does what good ones should - allows us to live in cinematic intensity, even after the film is finished.