Long Island, NY – Alternative acoustic rock band Phil Firetog Trio & Co. have released their latest single “Cruel,” a ballad based on vulnerability that touches on the difficulties around feeling neglected and unseen by a partner. “Cruel” is available to stream and download on all digital platforms worldwide.
“Cruel” is a poignant, confessional track that is strikingly honest, zooming in on the realities and crucial details about mental health and abusive relationships, taking control of the frustration arising out of emotional distress caused by a partner. The track is heartbreaking in its transparency, with the chorus lamenting, “I say why don’t you see me/you disregard me,” denouncing the neglect and indifference in the relationship. Its emotional turbulence is frustrating and poignant, leaving a sour taste behind, expressing a heart-wrenching desire to be acknowledged, cared for, and loved by a partner who responds with malicious intentions and unkindness.
The band’s frontman, Phil Firetog, begins the song by stating, “Well, I’m not angry anymore” — here, the track becomes a moment of reflection on the severe strain emotional abuse can take on someone’s mental health, leaving them in a disoriented state of accepting pain and cruelty, and internalizing these feelings. “Overall, ‘Cruel’ is a haunting work that ventures into the deep recesses of the psyche, exploring the emotional turmoil that comes from feeling neglected and unseen in a relationship,” he reveals.
This resigned acceptance shows the inner workings of the vicious cycle of toxicity: begging for a way out while fighting the urge to hide these immense struggles and show confidence. In “Cruel,” the band conveys this complex whirlwind of emotions through their expressive vocals and deeply poignant lyrics, depicting the bleak hopelessness of a neglecting relationship – ultimately, in an immensely emotional spectacle championing the importance of empathy, kindness, and understanding.
Shortly after debuting his solo EP, Portrait Songs, Phil Firetog expanded to a trio that is now Phil Firetog Trio. Formed in 2015, the band consists of Phil Firetog (lead vocalist/guitarist), Johnny “Pots” Potocnik (drummer), and Liam Gordon (bassist). The expansion of the trio to Phil Firetog Trio & Co. is Tye Granger (saxophone) and Gabriel Nekrutman (flute, clarinet, alto sax), and a rotating cast of characters including Brandon Rivas (trombone, trumpet, keys) that Firetog has added to the mix. Entertaining the industry’s toughest critics, Phil Firetog Trio debuted their first EP, Circles, in 2017. Recently, the band released their fan-favorite single, “Fall,” the first track to include the ‘Company’ performing alongside the trio, their holiday single “Long Island Christmas Eve,” and “How A Heart Breaks,” a powerful commemorative track. Taking inspiration from iconic musicians such as Dave Matthews Band, John Butler, and John Mayer, the band continues to display its dynamic and transformative sonic work, whose storytelling treads through difficult themes with startling grace and empathy. The band’s works have recently been praised by NYS Music, The Long Island Sound, and V13.
Giving a voice to those often forced into silence in emotionally abusive relationships, “Cruel” is a reminder of their psychological toll while reflecting on the immense power of recognizing your self-worth, and asserting your identity and voice. You can follow Phil Firetog Trio & Co. on their website PhilFiretogTrio.com and Instagram @PhilFiretogTrio to keep up with their musical journey.