Arlo McKinley announces the release of This Mess We’re In: a new album, a long look in the mirror, and an internal compass navigating the next chapter of his storied life and burgeoning career.
Out July 15th on Oh Boy Records, the follow up to 2020’s acclaimed Die Midwestern makes a compelling argument that bad days really do get better, that love is still alive. Across the 11 tracks, captured at Memphis’ famed Sam Phillips Recording Service and produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell, St. Paul & The Broken Bones), the Cincinnati songwriter emerges from the bleak, emotional fog that hung over his past two years. From the passing of his mother and best friend, to multiple others taken by the devils of addiction, McKinley drew inward for comfort, using the music as a way to orient himself in an uncertain world.
On first single ‘Stealing Dark From The Night Sky’, out now, Arlo McKinley tells a vivid story of both a breakdown and a bender, trying to outrun the sunrise with a lover who might be able to make the pain just a little bit better. Watch the video gorgeously animated and directed by Matt Reynolds (Adult Swim) HERE.
Backed by an ace band that includes drummer Ken Coomer, guitarist Will Sexton and keyboardist Rick Steff – as well as the new addition of cinematic string arrangements, showcasing Arlo McKinley’s feel for the romantic melancholy of inspirations like Nick Cave, Nick Drake and Wes Anderson – the songs on This Mess We’re In take their time to reveal their secrets. Through the warm, oaky voice and lyrical talent that won over John Prine at Nashville’s High Watt back in 2019, Arlo McKinley possesses a special ability to make his listeners feel seen and recognized.
Garnering comparisons to Tyler Childers, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson and more, he has been told that his music has helped fans through several tours in Afghanistan, and battles with brain cancer. While he credits these personal connections to the unflinching truth he brings to his songwriting, on This Mess We’re In he explains:
Oh Boy Records, started by the late John Prine, announces UK & EU Tour, “Oh Boy Goes To Europe.” The tour will feature the brilliant Arlo McKinley, Emily Scott Robinson and Kelsey Waldon. They will be stopping in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin, Hamburg & Amsterdam from June 14th – 22nd and will see John’s wife Fiona Prine host select evenings.
Arlo will head to the UK in June as part of the “Oh Boy Goes To Europe” tour, featuring Emily Scott Robinson and Kelsey Waldon. They will be stopping in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin, Hamburg & Amsterdam from June 14th – 22nd and will see John’s wife Fiona Prine host select evenings. All three artists will perform sets packed with new music – each night concluding with a group performance of a John Prine classic. The Hamburg date will also see a very special and rare additional performance from Oh Boy’s longest-signed artist Dan Reeder.
The Oh Boy Records tour will take place on the following dates: Tickets are available HERE.
Thu 16th UK – London, St Pancras Old Church
Sat 18th UK – London, Old Blue Last
Sun 19th UK – Manchester, Gullivers
Tue 21st UK – Glasgow, Oran Mor