Boy Harsher is a lot stranger than they let on in hellos, although it seeps through in their set almost immediately. Jae’s vocals fuse into Gus’s beats at the same rate Jae’s hair covers her face and Gus bobs his head. Occasionally they look at each other from side glances and it’s passive and sometimes feels sadistic despite the fact that they’re looking at each other from across the room.
Their music is weird. The weirder the environment, the weirder the set. Last week they played at Hang Fire with Wildhoney and Expert Alterations, a lineup which promised shoegazey pop and delivered… except for Boy Harsher. Jae was cornered on the stage between the speaker and the mic stand, hair covering her eyes and falling between her mouth and the microphone as she hissed. She says live shows are still hard for her, and sometimes you can feel it. But the nervousness plays into their sound, and as the rhythm is built by Gus an anxiety to dance enters into the crowd.
This week, Boy Harsher is headed to Miami for the International Noise Conference. But before their trip they’ll be doing a “darker” show than usual with Mirror Men, Hunnie Bunnies, Moffenzeef, and Orthodox. With Orthodox in tow, it’s going to be a loud one, and Hunnie Bunnies will up the ante on the weird factor.
It’s great that the DIY scene in Savannah is starting to organize noisier shows on a regular basis. Some of that is definitely a product of Jae and Gus’s work booking events for Safe//Sound at a number of venues (including their own, formerly on East Broad Street), as well as their record label, Soft Science Records.
Safe//Sound recently had their last production at Hang Fire for CryFest 2.0, a “No mixers. No laptops. No droning” event per the words of Savannah staple J. Zagers. The rowdy show was a 15 minute, 13 set, part music event, part magazine release for FIST CITY with a photo booth by Emily Earl (analog, of course).
From Savannah, it’s only imaginable that their set at Churchill’s is going to be a wild one. They seem like the kind of duo to fit right in there on any given night, hiding at the back bar, Gus’s hat pulled over his eyes while Jae smokes a cigarette. The INC atmosphere is just dense enough to invite the right lighting and echo, smoke and background noise to thicken the atmosphere for their sound. And you better believe their set will summon the “Pain” of the darker side to music. Try and catch their strangeness. It’ll make you dance.
The 12th Annual International Noise Conference is going on at Churchill’s Pub in Miami February 3 – 7. Click here for more information.