HOMETOWN: Sparta, N.J.
INFLUENCES: Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen
ALBUM: Songbird EP, out now

Growing up in a small town in northern New Jersey, country singer-songwriter Lacey Caroline, born Lacey Steinel, spent much of her childhood writing short stories driven by strong female characters. As a teenager, she married her love of words with melodies, teaching herself to play guitar and recording her first four-song EP. “I’m a dedicated, hardworking embodiment of the American dream,” she says. “My music is as straightforward as my lifestyle.” In 2009, she assumed the role of lead vocalist for pop-punk group the Best Week Ever, eventually opening for Bon Jovi at Meadowlands Stadium. Feeling the rush of performing for thousands encouraged the 23-year-old Cornell University graduate to pursue a solo career. Lacey Caroline’s new eight-track EP, Songbird, strips away the mainstream sheen in favor of laid-back acoustic arrangements. “Both New Jersey’s attitude and country music are very bare-bones,” she says. “Dramatic arrangements and flowery metaphors just wouldn’t be me.”


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