Arlo McKinley has released his latest music video for “She’s Always Around” from his acclaimed debut album, Die Midwestern. In conjunction with the video release, Oh Boy Records will be raising awareness and calling for donations to the organization Hope In The Hills Healing Appalachia. Donations made to the fund will be used to provide Christmas meals and gifts to families in Appalachia affected by substance use disorder.
The video was filmed at a safe distance and largely outdoors, in Lexington and Knoxville, by Emmy award-winning director Curren Sheldon, the producer of two Netflix documentaries, Heroin(e) and Recovery Boys, that focus on America’s ongoing opioid epidemic. The avant-garde inspired video follows McKinley as he witnesses different sorts of intriguing characters throughout the evening.
The song itself is a story about addiction that was inspired by McKinley’s personal relationship with the opioid epidemic after losing close friends to addiction. The song tells the story of the point of view from someone with addiction who will always find drugs in the darkest corners no matter how much they try to look the other way and face the world on their own without that crutch. Speaking of the video and it’s sentiment, McKinley stated “I wanted to work with Hope in the Hills in some way since Healing Appalachia had to be canceled this year due to covid. I’ve seen first hand what that organization does for those in need of help with addiction. I thought that having an option to raise some money for them with the release of this video and this song in particular made sense.”
McKinley almost gave up on music altogether before he caught the attention of John Prine, who praised his “great songwriting” and signed him to his Oh Boy Records. At 40-year-old, McKinley is now poised for breakthrough success with his arresting debut album, which received wide stream critical acclaim from tastemaker media. Recently, McKinley’s self-titled song “Die Midwestern” was also included in NPR Music’s 100 Best Songs of 2020 who stated, “Wrecked dreams and displacement from middle America have been common themes in roots music for some years now, but the story resonates anew in the voice of Cincinnati songwriter Arlo McKinley.”
Die Midwestern was recorded at Memphis’ legendary Sam Phillips Recording Service and was produced by GRAMMY award-winning Matt Ross-Spang along with an all-star Memphis band of Ken Coomer, David Smith, Will Sexton, Rick Steff, Jessie Munson and Reba Russell. A sincere and personal collection of songs, Die Midwestern shares tales of heartache, loss, wild nights, and redeeming Sunday morning confessions, deeply rooted in the sounds of street soul, country, punk, and gospel. Ten songs – some dating back fifteen years – all penned with a weight, honesty and gritty-hope that comes from living in Cincinnati, the rustbelt city where his songs were born.