McKinley has been influenced by the likes of Kate Bush, Suzanne Vega and Elvis Constello, to name a few. While earning a mechanical engineering degree and an English minor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, she played bass and sang in a college band with friends inspired by a love of Throwing Muses and Violent Femmes. Costello's influence remains the strongest with McKinley's songwriting following a similar path.
McKinley released six songs locally on her own label and received rave reviews. These six songs are included, along with six newly recorded songs, to make an extremely strong album. With the enlisted talents of producer/guitarist Steve Hale, the band also features the unlikely combination of acoustic bass, cello, violin, flute/clarinet and drums. The production throughout the CD is as solid as it is beautiful. Every song is well thought out and executed. The previous six song CD received strong radio play with focus on "AAA" oriented NPR stations. The album is described as an "eclectic mix of folk-pop with jazz overtones. (McKinley's) odd phrasing and quirky, free-form delivery are reminiscent of Joni Mitchell's work in the late '70s."
McKinley is distributed by Distribution North America (DNA) & Rock Bottom. Cassette #BCA 0022-4; CD BCD 0022-2.