“One of the best things about country music was that it was adult music,” Erin Enderlin says. “It was real music that dealt with hard issues in life so that people going through those things don’t feel so alone.”
The observation is signature Enderlin: She has a way of turning a song or even just a thought into an outstretched hand to the lonely or ashamed. While she first turned heads as a godsend to those aching for an artist with some golden-era country backbone, she has since emerged as a literary songwriter and superb vocal stylist with a knack for sharply drawn––and often sad––characters. Backsliders, avengers, lovers, and victims––they’re all in her acclaimed albums, such as 2019’s Faulkner County and 2017’s Whiskeytown Crier.
Enderlin’s new single, “Somebody’s Shot of Whiskey,” sounds like a grinning defense of a good time––and it is, riding a pocket groove that echoes the laid-back cool of 70s Emmylou Harris with lines that evoke the unapologetic irreverence of Loretta Lynn. Like Emmylou and Loretta, it’s also more than a party: Enderlin often uses a character’s vulnerability as a gateway to their strength. Amidst acoustic guitar, crisp snare, and cheeky fiddle, Enderlin’s protagonist admits she’s not for everybody, then celebrates not just self-acceptance, but love with another person that can only be found when we are wholly and unapologetically ourselves.