by Gemma Laurence
If space goddess synth pop isn’t already a thing, then Phillip is making it happen
Hailing from the desert of Nevada, the indie artist (and moniker for solo artist, Halsey Harkins) is now making a splash in the Brooklyn DIY scene. Commanding venues with her powerhouse vocals and captivating stage presence, Phillip is a force to be reckoned with. And if you haven’t gotten the chance to catch her live, her debut EP Freckles is quite the introduction.
A tight collection of four songs, Freckles showcases Phillip’s impressive vocal range in a sea of dreamy synth melodies. The songs range from cinematic slow-burners to hook-filled sultry pop bangers – all tied together by a very distinctive electro-organic soundscape. Inspired by little moments of beauty in nature – the taste of freshly plucked D’Anjou pears, the sight of light dancing through the leaves of a tree – Phillip’s sonic universe captures a certain kind of magic that is uniquely her own.
At times stripped back and stark and other times massive and powerful, the production on the record perfectly mirrors the heart of each song: the raw emotion and empowerment that drives Next Pretty Thing, the exhaustion that weighs heavy in Hold Your Tongue, the summertime romance that bubbles up in Freckles. Intricately crafted organic textures weave in and out of her spacey synth-based arrangements, showcasing her lyrics at just the right moments.
‘At its core, Freckles is an EP about new beginnings,’ Harkins shared with me after a packed EP release show at Mercury Lounge, NYC. Speaking with an endearing humbleness that almost didn’t match the effortless confidence she exuded on stage, she sat back and reflected: ‘It was started in Las Vegas in Dimitri Caraba’s garage and slated for release back in June of 2020 under my former artist name, Halsey Harkins. Upon the world halting, we had all this extra time to sit with the songs and really find out what they were supposed to be. It led to a lot of change and growth, culminating in a new name (Phillip) and an entirely new sound/path.’
An impressive debut that showcases her growth as an artist, Freckles bodes well for this up-and-coming new act. Freckles is out now, and keep an eye out for new music coming out soon… although we can’t share much yet, Phillip definitely does have more up her sleeve.
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