Ohio alt-country singer Arlo McKinley recently announced a tour and revealed that a followup to 2020's great Die Midwestern was on the way, and today the album has been announced. It's called This Mess We're In, and it comes out July 15 via Oh Boy Records, the label co-founded by the late John Prine, who was personally won over by Arlo's music before passing. Like Die Midwestern, the new album was produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell, etc), and Arlo's band for it included former Wilco drummer Ken Coomer, Lucero keyoardist Rick Steff, and Will Sexton on guitar. A string section was brought in this time too.

Arlo cites Nick Cave and Nick Drake as influences on this album, and you can hear that coming through in lead single "Stealing Dark From The Night Sky," which has a darker, more melancholic vibe than most of Die Midwestern without abandoning his usual rustic twang. Arlo says:

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.

The new song comes with an animated video by Matt Reynolds (Adult Swim), and you can watch that below. Pre-order the album here.

Arlo's upcoming tour includes NYC shows on May 9 and 14 at Mercury Lounge (the former of which will also stream live), and he added more dates since we last spoke. Updated dates are listed below.

Previously, Arlo spoke to us about his favorite punk and metal albums, and he also covered a song for the recent Chamberlain tribute album.

Arlo McKinley

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 -- 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, IRE - 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

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