On the 16th May 2018; The White Hotel: Manchester, UK were pleased to present an American duo, performing under the name of ‘Boy Harsher’; who have been taking the electronica scene by storm in the last couple of years, therefore for Manchester to hold their first UK appearance was admittedly more than a pleasure.
‘Boy Harsher’ consists of two members: producer ‘August Muller’ and vocalist ‘Jae Matthews’, both originating from Northampton in Massachusetts, America. The duo, starting in early 2013 were first based upon short stories however this soon launched into something more when the duo then became best formally known as ‘Teen Dreamz’; mainly consisting of their instrumental performances becoming more largely and popularly known as dance-influenced. It was from here that ‘Teen Dreamz’ expanded its scope and ‘Boy Harsher’ was born.
‘Yr Body is Nothing’, their debut EP, was signed by Atlanta’s Records and released in June 2016. The first pressing sold out so quickly that more albums were published and re-released in 2017. When Boy Harsher announced a tour and Manchester appeared to be on the list, we could not be more excited to attend this event as they really do bring together an intimate performance of incredible ability, and eclecticism.
The best way to describe the electronica duo to fans and new readers who feel they may be interested in taking a listen would be to say that they have a great 80’s style funk vibe to their style of music, however their composition is driving, danceable and uses beats infused with synthesisers and electronic instruments on stage. Jae Matthews has such an endearing voice, and after watching and hearing their live performance, we can formally vouch for just how grasping her vocals really are. She whispers, screams, chants and uses echo machines to produce live samples while performing; it really is an mind-blowing performance.
If you ever get the pleasure of seeing them, please do, as we hope you could also feel the invigorating feeling we did when we left the dance floor that evening (please click into video attached below for a sneak preview).
Both ‘Jae and August’ hold a strong background in cinematic performances, however the best way I would describe my experience of the night would be industrial meets techno meets electro meets trip hop, while withholding bass breakdowns, static sounds and a passion for the darkness within those sounds created.
The song writing is both inviting yet intimidating, but in a way which converses with the crowd and even though it may have your hairs standing at points it also portrays a warm sense of feelings that we all share in dark times, and this in clearly conveyed on the dance floor, as on the night the crowd all seemingly connected with one another and there was not one single moment that I did not witness a gleaming smile or enjoyable dancing drive within the crowd throughout their performance, which lasted from around 9-11pm.
Check out their new EP ‘Country Girl’ below (released in 2017)
The event itself started at 8pm and went on through until around 12am. Supported by local talented DJs ‘Blasha and Allatt’ who represent the ‘Meat Free’ Manchester label; and who ‘HAVE’ to be mentioned before the review comes to an end because these two girls are really something special. ‘Meat Free’ is able to offer a range of gritty, industrial techno sounds however ‘Blasha and Allatt’ are seemingly improving by the minute, erotic and eye catching; the perfect act to complement the duo that people are going crazy for in America at the moment.
If you’ve got some spare time on your hands then you can always check out the link below for a preview into one of their sets also:
Boy Harsher sold out in Berlin, 2017 and after reading recent interviews and doing my own groundwork it is evident that ‘Boy Harsher’ have the passion and ideal to continue constantly evolving and growing and not only into one genre but to remain eclectic yet 80’s inspired.
Yet another, phenomenal gig by our standards anyhow!
OFFICIAL WEBSITE LINK: boyharsher.com/