Emily Keener

Emily Keener2020-02-21T18:39:45+00:00

Project Description

The vulnerability found in Emily Keener’s music traces back to a distinctly Midwest upbringing, characterized by the canopied forests that surrounded her home. It’s here Keener pensively grappled with the rigid qualities of rustbelt spiritualism. And where she experienced the literal and figurative isolation as a homeschooled country-dweller.

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. Her vocals smolder in a delicate spiral, ebbing and flowing in melodies that wash in and out like deep, entrancing waves. Gone is the homegrown good girl rootsiness found on the previous releases.

RELEASES

“Do You Love Me Lately?”
Release Date: February 10
Emily Keener - Do You Love Me Lately Single Art

A breathtaking indie folk song exploring vulnerability and insecurity, Emily Keener’s “Do You Love Me Lately?” is heart-wrenchingly beautiful in its grace and overwhelming honesty.”

— Mitch Mosk, Atwood Magazine

In advance of Valentine’s Day, Cleveland indie-folk artist, Emily Keener, announces the February 10 single release of “Do You Love Me Lately?” The single depicts the fragility of romantic love as Keener’s smoldering vocals float around a slowly pulsing, retro groove.  It’s off the album, I Do Not Have to Be Good, due out May 22. 

“Do You Love Me Lately?” emerged at an intersection where Keener felt creatively lost while also reflecting on owning her desires as she navigated her early twenties. One day while staring off into space she had a fantasy about what it would be like to date a woman.  Read more

Bio

The vulnerability found in Emily Keener’s music traces back to a distinctly Midwest upbringing, characterized by the canopied forests that surrounded her home. It’s here Keener pensively grappled with the rigid qualities of rustbelt spiritualism. And where she experienced the literal and figurative isolation as a homeschooled country-dweller. 

In this rural area southwest of Cleveland she grew up watching her dad strumming the guitar that would eventually be hers. Studying seasoned writers and the songs that made up the soundtrack of her family life, she developed a deep reverence for the craft. 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 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. Her vocals smolder in a delicate spiral, ebbing and flowing in melodies that wash in and out like deep, entrancing waves. Gone is the homegrown good girl rootsiness found on the previous releases. 

Keener finds her voice on I Do Not Have to Be Good, one that is authentic and true. On East of the Sun and Breakfast, Keener’s voice was cloaked behind the musical mentors and production team who influenced the rootsy folk sheen. “I was learning from people I really admired, and those early experiences left me with a deeper understanding of how to use the studio as an instrument and breathe life into recordings. It paved the way for me to call the shots and make creative decisions with confidence.” On the upcoming album due out in May 2020, she subtly sheds her Americana roots and embraces atmospheric moody indie folk, equally tender and powerful as it unfolds. Taking almost complete creative control throughout the recording process, the only fingerprint is Keener’s own. This is her; raw, exposed, very honest in her emotional depth. 

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’ve spent most of my life creating music and I’m starting to see it deepen and grow along with me. The changes and shifts in my sound feel like a journey home.”

A breathtaking indie folk song exploring vulnerability and insecurity, Emily Keener’s “Do You Love Me Lately?” is heart-wrenchingly beautiful in its grace and overwhelming honesty.”

Mitch Mosk, Atwood Magazine
NBHAP

“Emily Keener, who started out making music at the age of 12 sings with grace, dedicated honesty and maturity beyond her years.”

Popdust

“It’s moodiness is texturized with Keener’s signature feathery Joni Mitchell-informed vocal.”

Jason Scott, Pop Dust
Highclouds

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

Claire Griesing, HighClouds
Caesar Live N Loud

“It’s Emily’s sweet and rich tones that got me hooked to this song.”

“absolutely incredible”

Beehive Candy

“the vocals are beautiful and shine above a restrained musical backdrop”

Mike Heath, Beehive Candy

“The new sound is incredibly lush and beautiful, and along the lines of artists like Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers.”

Ken Sears, If It's Too Loud

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

For the Rabbits

“To the fore throughout is Emily’s subtly jaw-dropping vocal.”

floated mag logo

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

Joe Massaro, Floated Magazine
ear to the ground

“Her vocals are raw and compelling…Her lyrics are relatable and beguiling.”

Cleveland Magazine

“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.” – Dillon Stewart

Dillon Stewart, Cleveland Magazine

TOUR DATES

Saturday, February 15th, 2020
8:00 PM
CODA
2247 Professor Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113
Saturday, February 22nd, 2020
3:00 PM
Brite Winter Music & Arts Festival
1219 Main Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113
Brite Winter general admission is FREE, but we ask you chip in a suggested $10 to help offset the costs of the event (we’ll hook you up with a Brite koozie as a thank you!)

Ra Ra Riot Headlines

Our vision is to contribute to the Cleveland cultural landscape with a free/low cost, and accessible events during underserved times of the year, like winter; an event where anyone can experience our city through traditional and innovative activities. Brite Winter marries fire, participatory art, food, music, and games to build community while helping us embrace the cold winter months.

Fitting into the rest of the Cleveland calendar, we see Brite Winter as the premier Cleveland event between New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day and a showcase for Northeastern Ohio’s artists, musicians, and creative culture. We embrace our core values of positivity, community, creativity, artistic excellence, and accessibility.

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