Fresh Stream



Fresh out of North Carolina’s harsh noise scene blooms Secret Boyfriend with his first full LP out on Blackest Ever Black Records. Ryan Martin’s solo project occupies a precarious intersection between damaged pop-melancholia, ghostly folk, and musique concrete. This Is Always Where You’ve Lived delicately explores some of the confrontational principles at the heart of harsh noise from an unconventionally gauzy angle.

Having mentioned some of the noise origins of This Is Where…, let me clarify that it is way more By This River than Stabbed In The Face. The ebb and flow of the record weaves between intimate acoustic tunes to dissociative, while rarely harsh, textural washes. “Form Me” entwines tranquil Frippertronic guitar tones and grainy razor-edged machine-scrape. “Deleted Hill” tumbles like a xylophone trapped in a cathedral-sized dryer.

This Is Where… captures Ryan Martin as a maverick of the noise game. In his interview with Noisey, Martin discussed the pleasure of getting his lip split open in the act of smashing a cymbal suspended from his face during his live sets. He explains that there’s an analogy between the discomfort of physically shedding blood and that of exposing your fragile inner self in an acoustic ballad. Perhaps masochistic, perhaps therapeutic, Martin’s insistence on pushing his emotional state ends up manifesting the despondent and eerie under-layers of his psyche.

Buy it here.

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