“What if I don’t love you in the morning?”: Temme Scott Premieres Her Beautifully Aching Anti-Love Song, “Softly”

Temme Scott © Caity Krone
Temme Scott © Caity Krone
Singer/songwriter Temme Scott dwells in a space of emotional anguish and unrest on her brutally raw song “Softly,” an achingly intimate and beautifully vulnerable ballad that hurts in all the best ways.
Stream: “Softly” – Temme Scott ft. Jack Rabbit




I wanted to be able to be honest with this person that I loved about not feeling fully in, but I ached to spare them the truth.

No one’s ever ready for the let-down.

How do you say you don’t love someone the way you want to love them; the way they love you? How do you share painful truths without hurting the person you care so much about? There are no easy answers to these questions of the heart, and few know that better than singer/songwriter Temme Scott – who, through no fault of her own, has broken quite a few hearts in recent years, letting them down as gently (and as softly) as she possibly could (in most instances).

What if I don’t love you in the morning?” Scott asks in her impassioned new single, a heavy heart and tortured soul exposed. “If feelings change and there’s no warning? I’m scared that you already saw me…” The artist dwells in a space of emotional anguish and unrest on “Softly,” an achingly intimate and beautifully vulnerable ballad that hurts in all the best ways.

Because there will never be a good answer to her question – and yet she’ll never stop asking it.

Softly - Temme Scott
Softly – Temme Scott
Last night I caught myself
Hoping I would dream of someone else
I didn’t stop myself
And I got scared so quick,
but not enough to stop the wishing

If you don’t let me, I won’t tell
Lay it all before you
‘cause I never pray to God

Maybe you’d forgive me,
not like it happens a lot

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Softly,” Temme Scott’s brutally honest first single of 2024 (out March 29, 2024). Written with Jamie Sierota and produced by Elijah Wells, “Softly” finds Los Angeles-based Scott doing what she’s long done best – spilling her full, unadulterated self in song. Since she first came onto the scene back in 2017, Scott has used her words and her voice as tools of uncompromising, unapologetic self-expression.

Her debut album Trust You, Trust You (2020) received praise here at Atwood as a “stunning, unfiltered and raw outpouring from the heart,” and 2022’s sophomore effort A Total Shame! built considerably upon those strong foundations, with Scott continuing to purge her own humanity to build wondrous musical worlds that ached from the inside out.

TEMME SCOTT DIVES INTO THE EFFORTLESS RAW POLISH OF DEBUT ‘TRUST YOU, TRUST YOU’

:: FEATURE ::



“Softly” arrives just over a year after Scott’s last project, the three-track July EP (February 2023), and is at once enchantingly elegant and breathtakingly raw.

We’re used to hearing songs of heartbreak from those whose hearts have been broken, but on “Softly,” Scott flips the script to explore the inner monologue of the one breaking another person’s heart. She comes to a cathartic and visceral climax in the song’s emotive, tender, and deeply passionate chorus:

What if I don’t love you in the morning?
If feelings change and there’s no warning
I’m scared that you already saw me
What if I get mad when things get easy?
If I don’t want you to believe me
Even if I say it softly
Even if I say it softly

“I guess this is my anti-love song — I wrote it about being scared to fall out of love with someone who I really cared about,” Scott tells Atwood Magazine. “‘Softly’ navigates the feeling of wanting to hold onto what you still have left with someone, and hoping they’ll keep you from telling them if your feelings change. I wanted to explore holding onto whatever shred of a relationship is left, while being scared that you’re the one who will eventually leave.”

Sit across the table from you
Too unsure to say I love who I am being honestly
And I don’t know if it’s just guilt
But I want you to be angry
will you please not be too patient with me?
Is silence still the killer if I never have to say:
“I’m scared as hell that I’d be fine
if you just walked away”?
Temme Scott © Emily Pinto
Temme Scott © Emily Pinto



What if I don’t love you in the morning?
If feelings change and there’s no warning
I’m scared that you already saw me
What if I get mad when things get easy?
If I don’t want you to believe me
Even if I say it softly

Learning how to let others down “softly” is one of those life skills that we only unfortunately glean through experience; no matter how many empathy books we read, or whatever the latest trending self-help social media gurus are saying, these difficult conversations are difficult for a reason. Intense emotions breed intense situations, and Scott feels the way she does because of how much there is at stake.

All you can do is go into a conversation like this with the best of intentions, knowing that hearts do heal, and that you’re doing what is ultimately right for you.

If I ever say it, I ever say it
Will you stop me, will you stop me?
If I ever say it, I ever say it
Will you stop me, will you stop me?
If I say it, if I say it
Please don’t stop me, please don’t stop me
If I say it, if I say it
Please don’t stop me, please don’t stop me

Atwood Magazine recently caught up with Temme Scott to unpack all the vulnerable, raw emotions running rampant on her new single as well as its cinematic music video (directed by Tim Finch). Stream “Softly” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and dive into the depths of this soul-stirring song in our interview below as Scott talks about her latest lessons on life and love – learning to let others down, to accept and embrace her truths, and so much more.

“We are all so desperate to be seen and understood, but we want to do it on our own terms,” Scott shares. “We only want to show so much. True acceptance is seeing all the nasty parts of a person, and still staying, still letting them in. That type of self-exposure is so valuable in a relationship, but can be so terrifying… I wanted to hide from all the frayed edges of the truth; I wasn’t ready to speak up without a solid answer.”

What if I don’t love you in the morning?
If feelings change and there’s no warning
I’m scared that you already saw me
What if I get mad when things get easy?
If I don’t want you to believe me
Even if I say it softly

— —

:: stream/purchase Softly here ::
:: connect with Temme Scott here ::
“Softly” – Temme Scott ft. Jack Rabbit



A CONVERSATION WITH TEMME SCOTT

Softly - Temme Scott

Atwood Magazine: Temme, welcome back and congratulations on the release of “Softly”! What’s the story behind this song, and what is its import for you?

Temme Scott: Mitch! Great to chat with you and thanks for the warm welcome back. I’m excited to be back at it!

I wrote this song with my buddy Jamie Sierota back in — I want to say 2021… wow time flies. At its core, the song is about being scared that you don’t love someone you’re with quite enough, even though you care about them deeply and wish you could. It wasn’t about one specific relationship for me, but a series of them that brought up these feelings in me. I’d felt over and over again like I was always the one pulling away and ruining things, but all I wanted to do was try. If and when I did finally admit my truth, I didn’t even want to be believed or heard.

Why did you name this song “Softly”?

Temme Scott: The idea of saying something “softly” to someone was designed to mean not wanting to fully admit something, essentially. So, for example, if you tell someone you’re falling out of love with them, but you say it in such a soft manner that maybe they can hardly hear or digest it, did you even really admit it? It’s kinda like that.. though arguably with much more nuance, but that’s why I put it in a song. I wanted to be able to be honest with this person that I loved about not feeling fully in, but I ached to spare them the truth. I wanted to dream up a way to maintain my confessional nature while also not having to, or being ready to, face the conversation with “full chest speech,” so to speak.

Last night I caught myself hoping I would dream of someone else. I didn't stop myself,” you sing at the song’s start. It's a stirring, shiver-inducing confessional, and a provocative way to start a conversation for sure. Why open this way, and what does this line mean to you?

Temme Scott: To be honest, it’s hard to say exactly where this line came from. I reckon I wanted to start with something that immediately gave me away, or put me on the receiving side of blame — something honest but still purposefully telling on myself. I wanted to capture the listener right away and let them know how imperfect I am. I also think it’s totally normal to daydream about or imagine yourself with other people, even while you’re deeply in love, and I wanted to err on the side of letting that be known and okay for others. Our minds all wander…

Temme Scott © Emily Pinto
Temme Scott © Emily Pinto

You then hit a high (or is it a low?) in the chorus: “What if I don’t love you in the morning? If feeling’s change and there’s no warning? I’m scared that you already saw me…” I absolutely love the expression of vulnerability here. What is it like to sing these lines, and what do you hope to convey?

Temme Scott: It’s a high and a low all in one. The chorus is where I really face what it might feel like to fall out of love, or not love someone as much as they love you. I felt ashamed and scared being at the whim of my own unpredictable brain, and I guess I wanted to take some of the blame off of that in this section. The idea of falling asleep feeling one way and waking up sobered by a new feeling is pretty relatable, like seeing something in the daylight again after a long night. It always looks a little different.

What does it mean to feel already seen? What does that sense of self-exposure look like, or feel like, for you?

Temme Scott: Oh my god, it feels horrible. Ha! I think we are all so desperate to be seen and understood, but we want to do it on our own terms. We only want to show so much. True acceptance is seeing all the nasty parts of a person, and still staying, still letting them in. That type of self-exposure is so valuable in a relationship, but can be so terrifying. Expressing that level of uncertainty was something I was familiar with at the time, but certainly not yet comfortable with. I wanted to hide from all the frayed edges of the truth; I wasn’t ready to speak up without a solid answer.

I also love the way you incorporated your phone in this music video – it creates this truly cinematic experience! What was the idea behind incorporating that? What does the phone represent?

Temme Scott: Thank you! I have my director, Tim Finch, to thank for the phone narrative. I think I kinda fought him on it at first as I was worried it wouldn’t come across as “intense” enough, or whatever, but I ended up loving the result. The whole idea of the video is that I’m in a rehearsal with my band in the middle of a hard conversation with my partner, and end up getting so lost in the song as I realize how much I really mean what I’m singing, and how relevant it is in that exact moment.

I try to shift my focus towards the rehearsal while my phone keeps going off, and I can’t help but get more and more into the song as that person tries to continue the conversation. The phone distractions are meant to represent my willingness and desire to work on the relationship, but at the same time, my realization that it might really be ending. It’s like… yes I’m paying attention, and yes I care, but I really don’t know if I can ignore this feeling anymore.

I can’t help but be hyper-aware that you’re singing straight into the camera at the end – making me, and anyone else watching, feel seen in that singular way. Was that eye contact intentional?

Temme Scott: Definitely. I wanted the end to feel like the most honest reveal of those lines. There’s no hiding from that realization that you may need to let someone go.

Temme Scott © Maciek Jasik
Temme Scott © Maciek Jasik

Last year you released the songs “July,” “One Foot In,” and “Someone Else.” How, in your mind, does “Softly” compare to those other tracks?

Temme Scott: “Softly” has a bit more of a pop flare to it, production-wise. I think it’s also a little more ballad-like than the July EP. Content wise, it’s kind of the opposite. Those three songs were written about being left heartbroken, while “Softly” is about being the one likely to leave.

Temme Scott © Caity Krone
Temme Scott © Caity Krone

This is your first song of the year, but I have a feeling this won’t be the last. What can you tell us about what this year has in store?

Temme Scott: Definitely not the last! This is the first song off of my upcoming full-length album, which I funded last year through a Kickstarter campaign. We are still working on final touches, but you can expect a new song every 4-6 weeks after this one until the full record is out. I’m SO excited to be back at it and releasing new stuff.

Finally, what do you hope listeners take away from “Softly,” and what have you taken away from creating it and now putting it out?

Temme Scott: My hope is that people who might be in a rocky relationship feel called to explore the inner-workings of their thoughts and feelings a bit more. Playing this song over the years has definitely helped me decrease my level of shame about being “the one who leaves.” And also, I’ve been left enough times since I wrote it — both suck! Either way, I hope people feel like they can find whatever time is right for them to admit their truth, even if their voice is soft and shaky at the beginning.

In the interest of paying it forward, who are you listening to these days that you would recommend to our readers?

Temme Scott: Well, like I mentioned before, the Jack Rabbit EP is spectacular. My favorite song on it is called “This Again,” so definitely check that out. Other people I’m listening to lately include Madi Diaz (like, obsessively), Samia, Maggie Rogers, Jade Bird, JOSEPH, Medium Build, and always a little Taylor Swift in there.

— —

:: stream/purchase Softly here ::
:: connect with Temme Scott here ::
“Softly” – Temme Scott ft. Jack Rabbit



— — — —

Softly - Temme Scott

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? © Caity Krone

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