• Bryon Harris

Phillinois - 'Hardened, Bolder'

Review by Daniel Deprè & Staff


“Hardened, Bolder” is a really cool indie/avant pop track. The sound design is quite unique and creates an otherworldly atmosphere. The mix is really incredible here as some of the sections are very busy with weird vocal-like sounds, yet everything is well balanced and crystal clear. Overall “Hardened, Bolder” is very chill, bolstered by an inspiring sense of purpose and a deep appreciation for life. You’ve likely never heard a song like this before, and it’s really a fun trip from start to finish.


Lyrically, Phillinois is singing about the bittersweet truth about how hardships can inspire you to be bolder in life, while also deeply hardening you. The lyrics have a haunting quality to them, you can really feel they were written from a dark place, during a dark time. “Wild wolf in an SUV rolled the windows down and looked straight through me, took a whiff of my toxic brain and said, “fuck your pain and fuck your legacy.”

He seems to be reflecting on how the human condition is all in our minds, and that death almost invalidates us. “I’ll never not think human thoughts, no, I’ll never quite be alone, to what degree is me? To what extent is my dome owned by my microbiome?” It’s so fascinating how deep Phillinois’ lyrics are; they’re so surreal and expressive. It is where modern poetry meets music.


The arrangement of “Hardened, Bolder” features some really impressive sound design work. The intro features slowed down and pitched down vocal samples, aptly setting up the unique tonal palette that the listener will be experiencing. Mixed in with some of the more electronic sounds are sounds that seem to be derived from acoustic instruments. This helps ground the song, mixing the surreal with the real.

Phillinois’ vocals are languid in the verses, singing low and chill. In the chorus he takes it up a notch and sings much quicker and in a higher register, with a soft and fluid tone. The creative sound design added to his voice furthers his original sound while also bringing out the emotions of his lyrics. “Hardened, Bolder” is a delightfully unusual track that will take you on a vivid journey. Follow on Instagram Stream on Spotify.

About Phillinois


Gerigscott lives in Portland, Oregon with his partner, beagle, and guinea pigs. Almost a decade ago, Gerigscott developed a chronic illness, which took away his ability to play guitar, leading to years of continued self-rediscovery as a musician and artist. The endless battle of chasing away chronic pain (or running from it, perhaps) has at times beckoned Gerigscott’s toe to the fragile line which separates liberation and cult-like disillusionment, a theme many are becoming all-too-familiar with these days. When not creating music, Gerigscott publishes a comic strip for alt weekly newspapers, creates animations and other videos, works, and goes grocery shopping.

For more information on Phillinois, please visit his website.

#Phillinois #HardenedBolder