Arlo McKinley Announces New Album ‘This Mess We’re In’ & Shares Single

Check out “Stealing Dark From The Night Sky” from the Cincinnati native’s upcoming LP.

By Scott Bernstein Apr 6, 2022 12:41 pm PDT

Singer-songwriter Arlo McKinley announced his sophomore studio album, This Mess We’re In, will arrive on July 15 via Oh Boy Records. The Cincinnati native shared the record’s lead single, “Stealing Dark From The Night Sky.”

This Mess We’re In follows McKinley’s critically-acclaimed 2020 debut LP, Die Midwestern. Like that album, the 11-track effort was tracked at the historic Sam Phillips Recording Service facility in Memphis with producer Matt Ross-Spang. Keyboardist Rick Steff, drummer Ken Coomer and guitarist Will Sexton were among those who served as Arlo’s backing band on the upcoming album, which also features string arrangements.


Arlo McKinley used his music to provide an escape from a turbulent period as he focused on self-growth. The musician lost both his mother and best friend and saw others in his life pass away after battling addiction over the past two years. McKinley came through the rough patch with This Mess We’re In, making “a compelling argument that bad days really do get better, that love is still alive,” as per press materials heralding its release.

McKinley shared the following statement about This Mess We’re In:

“I’m private with a lot of things I go through, but in my songs, I’m honest about everything. 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.”

“Stealing Dark From The Night Sky” is described as, “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.” McKinley tapped Matt Reynolds (Adult Swim) to animate and direct its video. Check out the final result:

This Mess We’re In Tracklist

  1. I Don’t Mind
  2. City Lights
  3. Back Home
  4. Stealing Dark From the Night Sky
  5. To Die For
  6. Dancing Days
  7. This Mess We’re In
  8. Rushintherug
  9. I Wish I
  10. Where You Want Me
  11. Here’s to the Dying

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