Arlo McKinley Shares Rousing Single "To Die For" | New Album Out 7/15 on Oh Boy Records

Article Contributed by Shore Fire Media | Published on Thursday, May 12, 2022

Today, with the release of rousing new single “To Die For,” Arlo McKinley delivers another brazen taste of rust belt rock and roll. On the latest preview of his forthcoming album This Mess We’re In, out July 15th on Oh Boy Records, he paints a vivid scene full of his signature “heart-on-your-sleeve songwriting” (Billboard), digging his heels into defiance over raucous layers of gritty guitar and raging organ. “The streets forever stained with our blood, in a town where dreams surely come to die,” he cries. “Every time the lights shine, yeah they’ll be thinking of us.”

Listen to “To Die For,” and watch the lyric video here.

As the follow up to Die Midwestern, one of 2020’s breakthrough releases, This Mess We’re In makes a compelling argument that bad days really do get better, that love is still alive. Written in the wake of his mother’s passing, the loss of his best friend and multiple others, This Mess We're In served as the main source of comfort for McKinley, allowing him to take a long look inward and reorient himself in a new, uncertain world. 

Across the 11 tracks, recorded 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 grapples with addiction’s devilish grip (“Back Home”), reckons with a life caught in limbo (“City Lights”), and seeks self-forgiveness (“I Don’t Mind”). From start to finish, backed by cinematic strings and an ace band, This Mess We're In revels in gorgeous arrangements that veer from delicately devastating to stirring, electric, and uplifting. 

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.

With a warm, oaky voice and lyrical talent that won over John Prine at Nashville's High Watt in 2019, Arlo McKinley possesses a special ability to make his listeners feel seen and recognized. He has been praised for songs of "hard-won experience" (Rolling Stone), "wrecked dreams and displacement from middle America" (NPR Music), "existential crises, addictions and world-weary resilience" (The FADER), garnering comparisons to Tyler Childers, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson and more. 

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

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

Arlo McKinley Tour Dates 

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

6/18 - 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

10/7 - Memphis, TN - Overton Park Shell