Photo by Adam Marchaschky

“Everything about this song is the real deal and you need to hear it.” – Ear to the Ground

CLEVELAND (April 28, 2020) – Cleveland indie-folk artist, Emily Keener, announces the May 11 single release of “Nap.” A response to feeling overwhelmed by the state of the world, the song delves into the desire to become enmeshed with someone. It’s off the album, I Do Not Have to Be Good, due out May 22.

Keener says, “I wrote it to explore the deep confusion that arose as I let go of the religious certainty that was my foundation in childhood. When life feels like ‘too much,’ I tend to want to hole up, sleep forever, and lose myself in something–or someone–else.” A relatable outlook in times likes these, it taps into the feeling of helplessness in times of suffering. “Nap” threads common humanity to the universal emotions engulfing us in times of crisis. As the world tries to find normalcy, it can also find a certain contextual familiarity within the song’s lyrics: “Nothing to do, nowhere to run to/So we might as well sit around/Picturing the end of the world/Thinking about how I’ll record the sound.”       

 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. 

Live Streams

Wednesday, June 3 @ 8pm (Emily Keener Instagram)


Praise for Emily Keener

“the single is more evidence that Keener is coming into her own as a singer-songwriter“ – Cleveland Magazine

“‘Nap’ sets the record’s tone perfectly with its evocative depth, percussive resonance, and achingly stripped, raw arrangement” – Atwood Magazine