From the ashes of a couple years filled with loss and self-examination, Arlo McKinley has returned with a new LP, This Mess We’re In. Out on July 15th via Oh Boy Records, the album serves as the singer-songwriter’s follow-up to his acclaimed 2020 breakthrough, Die Midwestern.

The past two years weren’t easy on anyone, including McKinley. The Cincinnati-born songwriter’s mother and best friend both passed, and he lost multiple friends to addiction. With the world closing in, McKinley turned to his craft to chart a course for the next chapter of his life and burgeoning career. The result is This Mess We’re In, an 11-track guidepost that translated inward reflections to outward actions.

Related: Charley Crockett To Continue Covers Series With ‘Jukebox Charley’ [Video]

With Wednesday’s album announcement, McKinley shared the lead single “Stealing Dark From The Night Sky”. The song’s stillness creeps in like the morning sun after a long night, with Arlo lyrically picking up his rucksack and heading off to the next town. The only difference is this time there’s someone along with him to make the journey, showing that life doesn’t have to be so solitary.

“I’m private with a lot of things I go through, but in my songs, I’m honest about everything,” McKinley said of the new album. “So I started to write as a way of getting stuff out. To me, This Mess We’re In is a growth record. I was navigating through a pretty bad time, but also there was the realization that it’s time to really change. My last album was me figuring out whether to stay or go from a very confused spot in my life. This one is trying to better myself—as a musician, as a human being, as a friend. I hope listeners can identify with the things they’re too ashamed to talk about or feel. There’s such a stigma that goes along with things like addiction and mental health. I just want them to know that I go through all of that too. At least for the 47 minutes of the album, you can remove yourself from the world and just let everything disappear for a bit.”

Watch the Matt Reynolds-animated music video for the new Arlo McKinley single “Stealing Dark From The Night Sky” and click here to pre-order This Mess We’re In. Scroll down for the full tracklist and album artwork. McKinley is gearing up for months of concerts that will take him on his first European tour in addition to festival spots at MerleFestBristol Rhythm & RootsHoxeyville, and more, as well as plenty of headlining dates. See below for a full list of tour dates, and visit his website for tickets.

Arlo McKinley – “Stealing Dark From The Night Sky” (Official Video)

This Mess We’re In Tracklist

I Don’t Mind

City Lights

Back Home

Stealing Dark From the Night Sky

To Die For

Dancing Days

This Mess We’re In


I Wish I

Where You Want Me

Here’s to the Dying

View Tracklist

Arlo McKinley 2022 Tour Dates

4/8 – Ashland, KY – Paramount Arts Center

4/29 – White Sulphur Springs, WV – Cross Creek on Main

4/30 – Wilkesboro, NC – MerleFest

5/1 – Charleston, WV – Mountain Stage

5/4 – Greenville, SC – Radio Room

5/5 – Birmingham, AL – Saturn

5/6 – Decatur, GA – Eddie’s Attic

5/7 – Huntersville, NC – NC Brewers & Music Festival

5/9 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge + Mercury Rising Livestream

5/12 – Wayne, PA – 118 North

5/13 – Worcester, MA – Off The Rails

5/14 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge

5/17 – Washington, DC – Hill Country Live DC

5/18 – Berlin, MD – Globe Gastro Theatre

5/20 – Abingdon, VA – Wolf Hills Brewing

5/21 – Sevierville, TN – Bloomin BBQ & Bluegrass Festival

6/9 – Kobenhavn, Denmark – CPH Americana

6/10 – Stockholm, Sweden – Sthlm Americana

6/11 – Oslo, Norway – Oslo Americana

6/14 – Hamburg, Germany – Nochtwache

6/15 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso Noord

6/16 – London, England – St Pancras Old Church

6/17 – London, England – Old Blue Last

6/19 – Manchester, England – Gullivers

6/21 – Glasgow, Scotland – Oran Mor

6/22 – Dublin, Ireland – The Workman’s Club

7/9 – Parkersburg, WV – Renegade Rebellion Country Music Festival

7/28 – Springfield, IL – Levitt AMP

8/19 – Wellston, MI – Hoxeyville Festival

9/10-11 – Bristol, TN – Bristol Rhythm & Roots Festival

View Tour Dates