Willi Carlisle Releases Beautifully Heartbreaking Music Video for “When the Pills Wear Off”

Willi Carlisle released “When the Pills Wear Off” in November ahead of his highly-anticipated album Critterland. At the time, he announced that a portion of the proceeds from the song would go to Hope in the Hills to help those struggling with addiction in Appalachia. Today, Carlisle released the official music video for the song with the same commitment to charity. So, each view on the video means more money toward a great cause.

Videos by American Songwriter

Carlisle has a way of tapping directly into the human condition, pulling out the deepest emotions, and weaving them into his poetic lyrics. “When the Pills Wear Off” is the perfect example of this. It tells a beautifully heartbreaking story that starts with a hookup, blossoms into love, and ends in overdose. It’s a heavy and moving song. The video increases the weight of each word tenfold.

[RELATED: Willi Carlisle to Donate Proceeds from New Single “When the Pills Wear Off” to Hope in the Hills]

The video goes back and forth between a love story and a Carlisle performing the song on an empty stage. It’s hard to say which segment of the short film is more heartbreaking. On one hand, watching the happiness of the love story turn into grief is moving to say the least. On the other hand, Carlisle wears the emotion of every syllable on his face and in his voice. With the two aspects combined, some may find it hard to watch the video with dry eyes.

The video is a continuation of the working relationship between Carlisle and Western AF. Mike Vanata, Western AF co-founder, shot the video on location in Hot Springs, Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains that Carlisle calls home.

Willi Carlisle Discusses “When the Pills Wear Off”

Carlisle calls the song “An amalgam of queer stories that I’ve heard, lived, and seen.”  It combines the hidden lives many queer people find they have to live with the devastation of the current opioid epidemic.

“After losing friends to overdoses, after witnessing the stress that hidden lives and quiet desperation causes people, I decided I wanted to sing about addiction,” he said of the song. “So, I’m partnering with Hope in the Hills to raise awareness and funding to help those in need. Too much of country music glorifies abuse, murder, and poverty in the name of shock and sales, and I want to fight the stereotypes,” he added. “Let’s share music about our struggles and triumph! Let’s celebrate love and mourn the dead.”

Featured Image by Madison Hurley

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