Premiere: Emily Keener’s “Do You Love Me Lately?” Crosses Desire & Fear with Haunting Indie Folk Vulnerability

Emily Keener © Adam Maraschky
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.
for fans of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker
Stream: “Do You Love Me Lately?” – Emily Keener




I wrote the song for people who are working through their desires and their fears simultaneously.

Look at me, I’m taking it badly,” sings an anguished Emily Keener on her new single, “Do You Love Me Lately?” Her voice is full of grief, her inflection delicate; she’s trying to stay strong through her pain, but she can’t help but betray her false sense of security and confidence in spilling her heart out: Instantly we know exactly what she means, and the heartache she’s going through. A raw indie folk song exploring vulnerability and insecurity, “Do You Love Me Lately?” is heart-wrenchingly beautiful in its grace and overwhelming honesty.

Do You Love Me Lately? - Emily Keener

Do You Love Me Lately? – Emily Keener

She wore her t-shirt inside out
I must’ve worn her down
‘Cause we danced in her kitchen to all of Blue
And she let me stick around
And she let me stick around
I gave her pictures of all my friends
To help her keep things straight
She never got the hang of it
Even though her memory’s great
Oh, I know her memory’s great

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering  “Do You Love Me Lately?” releasing February 10 and just in time for Valentine’s Day. The song arrives as the lead single off Emily Keener’s forthcoming sophomore solo album I Do Not Have to Be Good, due out May 22, 2020. A 21-year-old singer/songwriter and former Voice Season 10 competitor, Emily Keener’s music takes a refreshingly clear, thoughtful approach to significant coming-of-age questions of intimacy and purpose, sex and identity, connection and living with intent. Her songs are haunting like those of Phoebe Bridgers, and equally moving; there is no question that this young up-and-comer is going places.

Emily Keener © Dalton Brand

Emily Keener © Dalton Brand



Keener’s first release since 2016’s Breakfast album (for which she won No Depression’s 2017 Singer/Songwriter Award) finds her honing in on a defined, distinct sound centered around her intimate, emotional vocals. A humble electric guitar chugs chords beside Keener’s voice, slowly filling out a background whose energy tugs at the heart. Keener reaches her climax in the chorus, dipping into her higher register and layering her voice to create truly breathtaking harmonies:

Look at me
I’m taking it badly
Nose to my knees
I’m wondering madly
You say you didn’t love me then
But do you love me lately?

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

“I let myself get distracted, and watched the storyline play out,” Keener explains. “‘Fantasy’ might imply sexiness, and there was that aspect, but really quickly I found myself painting this woman as an unavailable dream-girl way out of my league. I saw the relationship as one that would shine a light on my deepest insecurities.”

She continues, “I wrote the song for people who are working through their desires and their fears simultaneously. It’s a vulnerable place to be so I wanted to create music that could be someone’s companion throughout that experience. It’s what I intended with the whole album, really.”

I can’t spell the word
So I’ll sound it out
It’s like being a flightless bird
When she took a plane outta town
When she took a plane out
Look at me
I’m taking it badly
Nose to my knees
I’m wondering madly
You say you didn’t love me then
But do you love me lately?
Emily Keener © Adam Maraschky

Emily Keener © Adam Maraschky



Hailing from Cleveland, Emily Keener stands out as the kind of resolute singer/songwriter who beats to the tune of her own drum.

“Do You Love Me Lately?” could have been a song about breakup or love’s loss, and indeed it certainly touches upon those notions – but it is so much more than those simplified topics would suggest. The song is about finding oneself in a haze of uncertainty and self-doubt; it’s about learning to let go of expectations, and learning to be vulnerable; about diving headfirst into our fears, and dwelling in the darker spaces of our psyche. A homeschooled Midwesterner, Keener takes her experiences and reflections, and transforms them into a universe of inviting, intimately relatable music. She joins a legion of singer/songwriters – from Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker, to Iron & Wine, Gregory Alan Isakov, and more – who are transforming what “indie folk” can mean, and how deeply it can move us, one song at a time.

Stream “Do You Love Me Lately?” exclusively on Atwood Magazine! Emily Keener’s new album, the aptly-titled I Do Not Have to Be Good, releases May 2020.

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I am sweeping under my bed
Whatever’s hiding, whatever’s left
I am ready for some rest
Sleeping on a clean sheet again
Look at me
I’m taking it badly
Nose to my knees
I’m wondering madly
You say you didn’t love me then
You say you didn’t love me then
But do you love me lately?
Stream: “Do You Love Me Lately?” – Emily Keener



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Do You Love Me Lately? - Emily Keener

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com