It’s easy to love Social Cig. The self-described “indie-skate-rock” project of Milwaukee musician Parker Schultz is arguably the most enjoyable (and popular) local DIY acts to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Dozens of high-profile shows have solidified the group as a can’t-miss live act. Alternately peppy and shaggy guitar-rock ditties about hazy days and young love have populated a handful of winning records since 2020. Now, with the released-at-the-tail-end-of-2023 five-track In The Pocket EP, Schultz and company chalk up another instantly likable collection of songs. It’s breezy, charming, and catchy as hell.

And no-nonsense, too. Opener “Sleep” is a caffeinated ode to, well, sleeping—or not sleeping, as it were. “I don’t wanna go to sleep / Cuz what’s it gonna do for me?” Schultz sings on the head-bopping chorus. As for “Phone,” would you believe it’s a dreamy love-waltz about a smartphone? Because it is! “I put you in my pocket / Just to keep you warm,” Schultz sings. “Remember when I met you / At the Apple Store?” And yet it’s a strangely poignant song: “I guess I pressed ‘agree'” Schultz sighs throughout the track.

A touch of rain and nostalgia colors the otherwise sparkling “Cats & Dogs,” a song filled with images of muddy Chuck Taylors and “a maze these sidewalks used to seem to me in ’17.” The bittersweet “Pizza” doubles down on the rose-colored past (“Those were days when me and you would watch the Star Wars saga / Homemade cookin’ pizza, lovin’ on ya,”) while “Wonderin'” picks up the pace for a rousing closer. “What’s the point of never wonderin’,” Schultz sings on the wonderfully buzzy and sun-kissed track. “There’s more to this, there’s more than what you know / What’s the point of never wonderin’ / There seems to be more places left to go.” And just like life itself, the song has a few direction changes of its own…

Heading in 2024, Social Cig is characteristically busy; multiple shows are booked for January and February, and a few dates have even been set for spring and summer. Add in Schultz’s Milwaukee music-focused podcast, and you have all the makings of another big year for one of the city’s most easy-to-love DIY acts. Take a drag if you haven’t already.

Want more Milwaukee Record? Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter and/or support us on Patreon.


The Show on Riverwest Radio: Social Cig

Oh, the places you’ll go with Social Cig’s “Wonderin’”

Social Cig finds Jurassic love in colorful “Hot Red” video

About The Author

Avatar photo
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.