Willi Carlisle Braves Battle In The Name Of Love On Lead-Off Single, “Critterland”
From his upcoming, Darrell Scott-produced album of the same name; Out January 26th via Signature Sounds; West Coast tour continues October 17th in San Luis Obispo, California
October 17, 2023 – Nashville, TN – “If we allow ourselves to sing together, there’s a release of sadness, maybe even a communal one,” says folksinger Willi Carlisle. “And so for me personally, singing—like the literal act of thinking through suffering—is really freeing.” With his upcoming album, Critterland, Carlisle invites his listeners to reckon with the inevitability of human suffering and grow in love; all through joining together in song. And Carlisle’s songs are ripe for a singalong.
Today, Carlisle released Critterland’s title track; a galloping peek into the songwriter’s attempt at living in an intentional community in Arkansas. “At its simplest, it’s bucolic,” says Carlisle. “The power of love is the power of nature, the remedy of the granny-witch and the herbalist, the song of the sparrow and the pouch of the opossum.” But on the whole, the jubilant refrain and diligent verses add up to a greater message: “Love is a burden if it isn’t brave.” “Even if you’re labeled a ‘queer and a communist,’ it’s worth fighting for your fucked-up family at the end of days,” he adds. The song’s final chorus echoes the sentiment loud and clear. “I want to be the kinda man that stands his ground and dies / Take my fiddle and my good hat and go out in style / You can bury me where I make my last stand / At the battle of critterland.”
Fans can hear “Critterland” today and pre-order or pre-save Critterland ahead of its January release at this link. Carlisle starts the last leg of his U.S. tour on October 17th in San Luis Obispo, California, before heading out on a European tour with stops in the UK, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands. A full list of tour dates can be found below or at willicarlisle.com.
More About Critterland: Rooted in the eclectic and collective world of his live shows, Carlisle’s third album, Critterland, takes up where his sophomore album, Peculiar, Missouri, left off, transforming Peculiar’s big tent into a Critterland menagerie and letting loose the weirdos he gathered together. The album is a wild romp through the backwaters of his mind and America, lingering in the odd corners of human nature to visit obscure oddballs, dark secrets, and complicated truths about the beauty and pain of life and love.
Produced by the GRAMMY Award-nominated Darrell Scott and to be released on January 26, 2024, by Signature Sounds, Critterland considers where we come from and where we are going. On the album, he takes on human suffering through stories about forbidden love, loss, generational trauma, addiction, and suicide, believing that by processing the traits and trauma we inherit, he can reach a deeper understanding of what it means to succeed and to exist.