The Wheel Workers Release New Album, Celebrate with Friday Concert at White Oak

The Wheel Workers Release New Album, Celebrate with Friday Concert at White Oak

The Wheel Workers (photo by Daniel Jackson)

TOMORROW, AUG. 26, HOUSTON indie-rockers The Wheel Workers perform at White Oak Music Hall to finally celebrate the release of their much anticipated, four-years-in-the-making album Harbor, which is already enjoying airplay and regular rotation on college and commercial radio stations.


Steven Higginbotham, the band’s founder, lead singer and primary songwriter, admits to feeling simultaneously relieved, excited and exhausted as he and his bandmates — drummer Kevin Radomski, keyboardist Erin Rodgers, guitarist Craig Wilkins and bassist Zeek Garcia — prepare to play Harbor’s complex, tuneful and at times explosive songs for the first time in front of a live audience.

“So much goes into finishing a record,” says Higginbotham, recalling the endless hours spent in the studio tracking, arranging and then re-arranging his songs. “I tend to be someone that leaves no stone unturned to a rather obsessive degree. But I think that process has resulted in our best record yet.”

While longtime fans will immediately pogo and headbang to rockers like “Suck It Up” and “Morning Song,” Harbor is filled with unexpected ear candy. On the mid-tempo ballad “Cold,” Higginbotham sings the song’s plaintive lyrics completely in falsetto, using autotune to create metallic, mournful tone, like the voice of machine left behind by its makers, now wondering how much juice is left in its battery. “For a while, I wondered, ‘Is this even a Wheel Workers song?’” says Higginbotham, who co-wrote the track with Ed Gardiner. “But I like bands who sometimes do stuff that’s out of left field.”

Meanwhile, the texture of Higginbotham’s stuttering and distorted tremolo vocals on the title track are strangely suited for the lyrics of the song (“You think you don’t belong / You’re too hard on yourself”), which mirror the gentle, intimate album artwork created by T Lavois Thiebaud. Higginbotham is quick to give credit to the album’s mix engineer and co-producer Dan Workman for suggesting such surprising sonic detours.

If there’s an overriding theme to Harbor, in its straightforward lyrics, multilayered music and meticulous production, it is one of resilience. It’s a quality Houston and its music community has in spades, and will be on full display, onstage and throughout the audience, this Friday at White Oak.

The Wheel Workers' new 'Harbor' album

Art + Entertainment
Ancient French Wellness Cures Reimagined at Houston’s Escape Spa: The Power of Vichy

Serial entrepreneur and spa visionary LeBrina Jackson

NESTLED IN THE heart of France, the town of Vichy holds a rich history in the world of wellness and hydrotherapy. Acquiring fame for their alkaline springs in the 17th century, the Romans were among the first to recognize the therapeutic benefits of the springs. They established a French spa known as “Vichy,” which still exists today and continues to attract spa-goers from around the world to experience the transformative effects of hydrotherapy.

Keep ReadingShow less

Emily Peterson

THE ARTS OF Healing organization has grown tremendously over the past few years, and this spring, Tootsies hosted a crowd of 300-plus for a charitable style show featuring 20 influential physicians and medical professionals.

Keep ReadingShow less
Parties

Julia Davis, Sophia Cantu, Christiana Reckling, Julia Hotze, Randa McConn

AN INTIMATE GATHERING of around 125 guests toasted the 25th anniversary of Rienzi, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's house of European decorative arts. Beautiful blooms in shades of pink, white and blue, complemented by blue-toile linens, were found all around the verdant grounds, illuminated by simply chic string lights hanging from above.

Keep ReadingShow less
Parties