“It’s a showcase of raw, emotion-driven indie-folk not too dissimilar to the works of Phoebe Bridgers or Adrianne Lenker.” -Jonathan Frahm, PopMatters

CLEVELAND (April 13, 2020) – Cleveland indie-folk artist, Emily Keener, announces the April 13 single release of “Boats.” Through tender, breathy vocals Keener reflects a snapshot in time, capturing what it feels to be safe and understood.   It’s off the album, I Do Not Have to Be Good, due out May 22.

Keener wrote “Boats” after sailing Lake Erie on a summer night under the stars. It was her first time on a sailboat; everything was calm and there weren’t any other boats or people in sight. That peaceful tranquility exudes every note even as the chorus releases and the song concludes into a feedback-soaked space. She says, “I wanted to write a song that was so simple, just about appreciating the loves in your life and the moments we get lucky enough to end up in every now and again.” 

On her upcoming album, I Do Not Have to Be Good, Keener colors her plaintive and introspective lyricism with a frailty that longs for connection and understanding. When Keener began working on the new album with Dalton Brand at WaveBurner Recording, she consciously broke away from the belief in perfection and purity as being necessary, or even possible. She says, “Despite a loving family, my personal experience with a Christian upbringing led me to develop deep self-censoring, self-doubt, and the belief that I must always present as kind and good regardless of how I feel.” The album is a call to free censored desires and doubted truths. 

I Do Not Have to Be Good Track Listing

  1. Nap
  2. Do You Love Me Lately?
  3. I Know (feat. Cathalyn)
  4. I Don’t Know Anything
  5. Boats
  6. Static
  7. Mary, I Love Her
  8. Elbow
  9. Comfort

About Emily Keener

By age 12 Keener was writing and performing music professionally, often playing at wineries and bars under her mother’s guidance. It’s been nine years since Keener got her start as a professional musician. Through those years she opened for numerous established artists including Jessica Lea Mayfield and Leigh Nash. In 2013, she released her debut album. This followed with the 2015 EP, East of the Sun, recorded with the regional Ohio band, The Womacks. Her latest album, Breakfast, earned her No Depression’s 2017 Singer/Songwriter Award. On the upcoming album, I Do Not Have to Be Good, due out in May 2020, she subtly sheds her Americana roots and embraces atmospheric moody indie folk, equally tender and powerful as it unfolds. 


Praise for Emily Keener

“A breathtaking indie folk song…“Do You Love Me Lately?” is heart-wrenchingly beautiful in its grace and overwhelming honesty.” — Atwood Magazine

“Emily Keener, who started out making music at the age of 12 sings with grace, dedicated honesty and maturity beyond her years.” — Nothing But Hope and Passion

“Do You Love Me Lately,’ a relatable story song that epitomizes her new space-y folk sound and will make you wistfully stare out a window and think of an old lover.” — Cleveland Magazine

“Keener’s voice is magnetic and keeps you drawn to every note.” The Revue

“Emily’s vocal gently rolls in like the ebbing tide” – For the Rabbits

“…a powerful and haunting indie folk tune filled with vulnerability, delicacy and fantasy.” – Floated Magazine

“…the passion that’s present in ‘Do You Love Me Lately?’ is electrifying.” – High Clouds

“heartfelt single ‘Boats’ brilliantly trails her album” – Strange Brew

“billowing, warmly-jazz-inflected and reassuring” – Autumn Roses

“gentle, sincere and intimate folk” – Beehive Candy

“real and engaging” – Ear to the Ground