Arlo McKinley Releases “To Die For” From This Mess We’re In

New Album Out July 15th on Oh Boy Records

Today, Arlo McKinley released a preview of his forthcoming album This Mess We’re In, out July 15th on Oh Boy Records.

The single, “To Die For” is all about standing up and fighting for what you believe in and showcases the rock and roll side of Arlo.

“To Die For” by Arlo McKinley:

By age 8, McKinley was singing at his family’s church. Both his Kentucky native father’s bluegrass and classic country records and his two older brothers’ punk and metal collection laid the foundation for his early musical influences.

“I grew up in the punk scene with my brothers and dad has all of that stuff that came out of King Records like Hank Williams and I was just surrounded by it,” McKinley says. “I still take parts of it and I feel I write songs in a punk rock way…”

He pursued a solo career from 2014 where he achieved some success including a nomination for Album of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Best Americana Act from the Cincinnati Music Awards.

Not long after, his career stalled and he almost gave up altogether, “I don’t know why the world works the way it does but I’m beyond grateful to be in this situation.” He said.

His break came when he was offered an opening slot for Tyler Childers and has since been making a name for himself around the country sharing stages with John Moreland, Jason Isbell, Justin Townes Earle, Ian Noe and Colter Wall.

As the follow up to Die Midwestern, his 2020 breakthrough release, This Mess We’re In was written in the wake of his mother’s passing, the loss of his best friend and multiple others. Across the 11 tracks, recorded at Memphis’ famed Sam Phillips Recording Service and produced by Matt Ross-Spang, McKinley wrestles with a life caught in limbo (“City Lights”), and seeks self-forgiveness (“I Don’t Mind”).

On first single “Stealing Dark From The Night Sky,” NPR Music says that Arlo McKinley “draws the listener into its power and beauty in a subtle fashion, with elegant fiddle and his voice lifting up soft consolation in the midst of darkness.” Billboard called it “an unvarnished tale of finding comfort and momentary diversion from all manner of emotional demons,” and the animated music video shows a vampire and a cosmic cowgirl finding love on a dying plane.

“Stealing Dark from the Night Sky” by Arlo McKinley:

Arlo McKinley is currently in the midst of another restless year of touring, bringing This Mess We’re In to NYC, DC, his first international performances and more this spring and summer. Find the full dates below and tickets at


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20th century rural sociologist, Carl Frederick Kraenzel, coined the term ‘Yonland’ to describe the in-between places left indistinct and vague on a map. Yonlander is a rural publication designed for those outside the city limit sign pursuing a simple, independent lifestyle.


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