With their new record Citizens, the Houston pop/rock outfit the Wheel Workers pull off the trick of marrying “sociopolitical consciousness with a memorable hook.” Vocalist and lyricist Steven Higginbotham was nominated for the Best Songwriter Award at the Houston Press Music Awards in 2014, no small achievement considering that if one tuned out the lyrics, the Wheel Workers could just appear to be another catchy pop group.
To get a glimpse into Citizens, as well as the political insight that Higginbotham and his bandmates display in their music, stream the album cut “Burglar” below.
Higginbotham says to PopMatters, “The original idea for the song was written a day after my house was burglarized, thus the title. Fortunately, they didn’t go upstairs, so my recording gear was intact. I had been drinking and the ‘I can do this’ spoken part was me giving myself a pep talk that I wasn’t too drunk to lay down the vocal idea. The style of singing was reflective of my weird drunken semi-angry and vulnerable state.”
Citizens, which is being self-released by the Wheel Workers, is out on 26 May.
// Notes from the Road
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