After relentlessly touring their debut record Jackson Square, which garnered the band a top 10 Canadian rock radio hit with 'Oh, the Boss is Coming!" and a Juno Award for 'New Band of the Year", the Arkells retreated to the legendary Bathouse Studios in Kingston, Ontario to record their sophomore record, "Michigan Left". Looking to capture their energetic live show without compromise, the band combined the spontaneity of live-off-the-floor recordings with more complex sonic details made possible by the meticulous production work of Arkells keyboardist Dan Griffin. While Michigan Left combines the bombast of Bruce Springsteen, the infectious 80's R&B sounds of Hall & Oates and the delicate studio touches of Spoon, the sound that results is undeniably that of the Arkells. In the short time since it's release on October 18th, 2011, the first single 'Whistleblower' has already broken the top ten at Canadian rock radio, with the second single 'Michigan Left' to be serviced to radio in early 2012.
In the fall of 2011, the Arkells embarked on a Canadian tour in support of Michigan Left that culminated in a sold-out performance at the Sound Academy in Toronto, where the band was joined on stage by Kathleen Edwards and members of Born Ruffians and Tokyo Police Club. On December 7th of 2011, the Arkells were named "best live act" by CBC Radio 3 for their foot stomping, sing-along inducing live performances - an experience they will bring to the 2012 SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, and then across America when they embark on a cross-country tour with rock outfit the Maine.