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Milwaukee Music Premiere: Social Cig, ‘Wonderin’’

Bobbie Knopp / Austyn Meyer

Every week, Milwaukee Music Premiere connects the city’s artists with our listening audience. If you’re an artist with a track you’d like us to debut exclusively on Radio Milwaukee, head over to ourMusic Submission page to learn how.

The thing all of us normies find fascinating about artists — whatever medium they dabble in — is how out there they are. When we’re sad, we’re sad for a handful of people. When they’re sad, the whole world has access to it.

Parker Schultz was, over the course of many months, dealing with something much more complex than “sad.” This was a full-blown musical existential crisis that stretched from last winter to the first glimmers of summer:

“There had been many ebbs and flows in my day to day — working a nine-to-five job while working outside of that to pursue being a musician,” he shared with us. “There were many early mornings and late nights. I had a few intrusive thoughts during the thick of it all about giving up on chasing my goals and dreams, thinking, ‘Is this really what I want to do with my life?’ There were moments when my ambition was incredibly low, and I essentially just felt lost.”

As musicians do, Schultz found his way in song form — the one we’re premiering here. Although it didn’t come easy.

While putting in that day-to-day (and late-night) work for his indie-skate-rock music project Social Cig, Schultz had the melody for “Wonderin’” locked and loaded. Lyrics were a different story. Never one to force the situation, he waited patiently while simultaneously dealing with his questions about the future. Finally, he found himself in a more flexible state of mind:

Oh what’s the point of never wonderin'
There’s more to this
There’s more than what you know
Oh what’s the point of never wanderin’
There seems to be more places left to go
And I guess I’ll see you there

“‘Wonderin'’ captures the feeling of being fluid through the confusion of life, learning to adapt and realizing that you can always pivot,” he explained. “The lyrics are a reminder to me that there's always something more, many places yet to go and wonderful people to meet — no matter what your goals are.”

Considering where we started, that’s an optimistic place to land and one reflected in the instrumentation — at least in the first part of the song. This is a two-movement affair that starts brightly with crisp guitarwork and percussion to match. Then, after a pause about three minutes in that makes you think we’re wrapping things up, there’s a more reflective section. Things slow down, and the sound gets more layered, including drums and lead guitar Social Cig recorded live during their appearance on 88Nine’s State of Sound earlier this year.

“Wonderin’” is their first new music since releasing the album CHEESEHEAD in August of 2022 and one you can enjoy by hitting that “Listen” button at the top of the page. The single will be available widely Oct. 6, with a five-song EP following in December and an accompanying release show at Cactus Club in the works, tentatively set for Dec. 12.