Cece Coakley is hitting her stride. In the wake of her debut 2022 EP “Tender,” the 22-year old singer-songwriter is exploring a world beyond her native Knoxville, literally and metaphorically. Fresh off touring with rising acts like Medium Build, Stephen Sanchez, Field Guide and Ella Jane, Coakley has no shortage of new experiences to draw from. “The first EP came out of living at my parents’ house,” she explains. “Now I’m writing new songs on the road and trying them out live the same night –– I’ve grown up so much making this new music.” Splitting her time between Nashville and LA, Coakley partnered with new collaborators like Andy Seltzer (Maggie Rogers, Samia) and Jake Munk (Miley Cyrus, Ethan Tasch) to help her cultivate her ideas without “dimming their light.” Throughout her new writing, Coakley examines life on a larger scale –– from missing friends across time zones to the bittersweet feeling of returning home. The old version of Coakley is its own character in her writing, forcing her to look over her shoulder at the life she grew out of. In the lineage of other crossover artists like Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves, Coakley’s reflections on coming of age feel both universal and intimate, delivered in soaring pop hooks over beds of jangly acoustics, banjo and slide guitar. The
influence of the country artists she grew up on shines through, delivering her narrative lyricism with an emotional, powerhouse voice. Since her debut in 2021, Coakley has cemented herself in the indie landscape, amassing over 4.9 million Spotify streams to date and nabbing slots at festivals like Bonnaroo and Briston Maroney’s Paradise Festival. Her upcoming sophomore EP deepens Coakley’s journey of self-discovery, as she continues to strike a chord with her young audience. She may have found her footing, but this is only the beginning for Cece Coakley.