Arlo McKinley Is Back With Brand New Single “Watching Vermont”

Arlo McKinley country music
Arlo McKinley

The world is a better place when there’s new music from Arlo McKinley in it.

And fortunately, for the first time since his spectacular record This Mess We’re In was released in summer 2022, we’ve got a new single. Titled “Watching Vermont,” McKinley’s latest single is a slow, acoustically driven track that illuminates McKinley’s heartfelt lyricism.

Released via Oh Boy Records, founded by the late John Prine in 1981, it’s obvious that McKinley is doing his part in carrying on the songwriting tradition of the greats before him. If sad songs make you happy then this one’s for you, so without further ado, here is Arlo McKinley’s latest tune “Watching Vermont.”

“I don’t know where I’m going
But I won’t forget from where I came
I traded in for a bottle
I gave it all for anything
And the winter makes you lonely
When you’re looking for someone
But baby, I won’t be the one”

For those of you who may not be familiar with the music of Arlo McKinley yet, consider this a wake up call.

The criminally underrated Cincinnati, OH artist is Appalachian-adjacent geographically, but has been an integral figure in the budding scene for the past decade. With three incredibly powerful records and a handful of rogue singles under his belt, McKinley’s potent catalog is full of deftly written, diverse sounding songs that deal with heavy subject matter of addiction, existentialism, forgiveness, and everything in between.

His three albums – 2014’s Arlo Mckinley & the Lonesome Sound, 2020’s Die Midwestern, and 2022’s This Mess We’re In – each take the listener on a journey through McKinley’s mind, describing both his own and experiences and those of the people around him through exquisite lyricism and tasteful instrumentation producing an impressive sound that enhances songwriting. Here are a few of my favorite songs of McKinley’s for everyone’s reference.

“Stealing Dark from the Night Sky”

“Bag of Pills”

“This Damn Town”

This past summer, Arlo posted to Instagram that he was struggling with some mental health problems, and needed to take an indefinite break from the grind of touring.

In the months that followed, he kept an even lower profile than normal, leaving a minor degree of uncertainty in regards to the near future of his career. After presumably taking some time off, though, McKinley is luckily seems to be doing better and is back on the road, making his surprise new single even more exciting.

Now the potential of even more new music looms, but in the meantime, keep listening to “Watching Vermont” and make sure to catch McKinley’s show if he’s coming to a city near you. Here are the dates he currently has scheduled:

3/14 – Luck Reunion Festival – Spicewood, TX

4/4 – Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

4/5 – The Raccoon Motel – Davenport, IA

4/6 – Chicago PrineFest – Chicago, IL

4/12 – Frankie’s – Toledo, OH

4/19 – Mahall’s – Lakewood, OH

6/14-6/15 – Whizzbangers Ball – Glen Jean, WV

6/21 – Ace of Cups – Columbus, OH

8/17 – Pickin’ in the Backwoods – Nashville, IN

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock