Willi’s Carlisle’s “CRITTERLAND” is Released Today!

FRIENDS AND FAMILY— CRITTERLAND is out today. It would mean the world to me if you’d give it a listen, pass it around to your pals, and help us in all the DIY ways we ask our community to do! Come see us on tour, too! Proper newsletter in a couple weeks, even better than the last. Come say hi, let me know whatcha think! 

If you give it an old-school listen, you’ll find it’s a record wrestling with ancestry and inheritance, with years repression and fear, and finding light at the end of the tunnel. Someone called it “rural gothic,” and I like that. There’s already some amazing reviews— a Rolling Stone write up, good stuff like that. 4.5 stars on SLANT, 8/10 on PopMatters, you know, signs of a good record that isn’t for everyone, which I don’t want to be. 

I play folk music because it feels like my last option, something that feels totally free to me, a dam against the tides of same-sameyness and virtuosity and bombastic, 15-second jingles. Folk music is how I take life, problems, and history into my own hands, and how I invite people I care for to do the same. It’s a huge paradox to make into a small business, but I’m a back-porch stomper more than a jumbo-tronner.

So, this is intended to be a tomato plant, not an aesthetic. A sourdough starter, not a starbucks cup. I want CRITTERLAND to be the first board in a cabin, the first notes of a lifetime of singing together. Not a “lifestyle” or just a “job.” I want to make mantras for the kind of life I can stand to live, and it’s weird and intense and joyful. 

The rich and the politicians they’ve bought believe they are the architects of society, but they aren’t: people are. We persist in creating things that are slow, silly, complex, and special. We have alternatives, and I want to prove it. Nations, brands, and war machines don’t seem to understand the fundamentals: life takes everything from you. Who, how, and how much you love is everything.  

I’ll end with the lines from the record I’d put on a tombstone: 

“Why have a god if no one is saved? / Love is a burden if it isn’t brave!” 

welcome to critterland,

-your pal willi 

About Shauna "WhiskeyChick" Castorena

Shauna "WhiskeyChick" Castorena is a freelance writer for both Country Music News and Country Music On Tour. Want to collab on some content? Email me. Want my rates for commercial promo work? Get them right here.