Arlo McKinley Once Again Proves He’s A Songwriting Mastermind With New Album, ‘This Mess We’re In’

Arlo Mckinley country music
Emma Delevante

Arlo McKinley’s heavily anticipated third album This Mess We’re In finally hit streaming platforms today, and it’s a must listen.

Over the last several months, McKinley consistently released several singles to build anticipation as we approached the release date for the full album.

Now “Stealing Dark from the Night Sky,” “To Die For,” “Back Home,” and “I Don’t Mind” form the 11 track record. With This Mess We’re In, released via the late John Prine’s Oh Boy records, McKinley has put on an absolute songwriting clinic and proved that he belongs in the conversation as one of the best in the business.

A masterpiece of beautiful melodies and introspective lyricism that covers hard hitting topics like addiction, relationships, and hope, This Mess We’re In is reminiscent of projects like Jason Isbell’s Southeastern and American Aquariums recent album Chicamacomico. If you like either of those, you’re going to love this one.

The album was produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell) and cut at Memphis’ famed Sam Phillips Recording Service.

Arlo McKinley is one of the most authentic and honest artists in music, tackling tough topics like loss, addiction, mental health and self-forgiveness. With the release of This Mess We’re In, he has proved that he belongs in the upper echelon of today’s musicians.

Check out the tracklist and some of my early favorites off the album below.

“I Don’t Mind”

“City Lights”

“Back Home” ft. Logan Halstead

“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”

Go give This Mess We’re In by Arlo McKinley a spin, and prepare to have your mind blown.

And just in time for the release, he stopped by the podcast to talk about the aforementioned album, what it means to be “country” and why he’s never moved to Nashville, working with Tyler Childers and getting to know him as a friend, some of his own struggles and working through issues in his personal life, and how the impact his music has on people has kept him going throughout his career.

Download the podcast on Apple Podcasts by searching “Whiskey Riff Raff” or click here.

We’re also available on Spotify and wherever else you can listen to podcasts.

Cheers, y’all.



A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock