By Edward Kliszus

The exciting, lovely singer-songwriter Candice recently took to the stage with her band in her new show, Candice Lee at Arlene’s Grocery in New York City’s East Village. Her followers (aka Candies) danced and grooved. She performed some of her original songs and others that touched, inspired, and revealed the universal complexities of love and relationships.

Candice opened with One of a Kind, her powerful, catchy, and not-yet-released song about the tensions one feels when caring for someone who is unique and special with the uncertainty of knowing if they feel the same towards you.

Candice Lee and the Band at Arlene's Grocery. Photo by Nanette

Candice Lee and the Band at Arlene’s Grocery. Photo by Nanette

This Love of Maroon 5 fame began with vocals and piano before transitioning into an upbeat, rock-band performance. Candice expressed the bittersweet conflict between a driving upbeat tempo and story about a failed relationship and the feelings of heartbreak and confusion that come with it—it touches on the tragedy of Leancavallo’s clown Pagliacco, forced to smile as he sang with a broken heart. The song’s infectious melody and upbeat tempo made it a favorite for dancing and singing along.

When the pandemic hit, Candice wrote How We Used To, a product of inspiration for striving to endure while longing for the stability many took for granted. Moving, formidable.

Candice Lee on Stage at Arlene's Grocery. Photo by Nanette

Candice Lee on Stage at Arlene’s Grocery. Photo by Nanette

Candice’s Stranger’s mysterious indie pop/rock sound changed the mood. Candice was featured on guitar (also harp in the produced track), while her lyrics shared the confusion and disappointment of watching a best friend (or lover) turn into a stranger. “How well do we ever really know someone?” Ultimately, the track led us to realize that sometimes you are better off without certain “friends” in your life. Stranger, is set for release on March 1.

Valerie, first performed by the Zutons in 2006, became an Amy Winehouse cover. This was a perfect choice for Candice, as it expressed her passion and willingness to be there for her friends no matter what.

Sometimes, love becomes jealousy. Candice showed this to us in her song How Can I – about the hurt of seeing a previous partner start a new chapter with someone new before you have fully moved on. 

Excitement filled the room as Candice performed Ed Sheeran’s cover Bad Habits. Ed Sheeran duetted with Candice on his TikTok page video with 14 million views.

Candice showed her alternative rock and political side with Zombie, first performed by The Cranberries. Her performance expressed the powerful and dynamic protests against violence and conflict in Northern Ireland. The lyrics expressed the pain and frustration of the people caught up in the conflict, with lines like “In your head, in your head, they are fighting / With their tanks, and their bombs, and their bombs, and their guns.” Her interpretation of O’Riordan’s impassioned vocals and the driving, heavy guitar riffs gave the song a sense of urgency and intensity.

Permission was Candice’s original song about standing up for yourself and knowing your worth.

The closing song, Invisible, brought down the house! It’s an original song expressing how one might feel invisible or left out in a crowd.

Candice is a singer of heartfelt, caring distinction. On stage, she is confident, energetic, and versatile, with a unique blend of musical influences and originality propelling her to become one of her generation’s most successful and iconic entertainers. Her song Permission and the prior release of How We Used To were featured in Rolling Stone. Feel the Same was written in collaboration with the highly recognized producer KXA and is approaching half a million streams on Spotify alone. Alternative Sound noted that Feel the Same is “an infectious pop track with an irresistible beat and a relatable theme.”

Candice Lee. Courtesy

Candice Lee. Courtesy

An icon of her generation, Candice Lee’s music lauds universal values of love and empathy that touch all listeners. Her singing persona is characterized by a confident and energetic stage presence, with a voice that can effortlessly switch between styles. Her stage performance was dynamic as she sang and played guitar, displaying her impressive skills as a performer. Her strong sense of showmanship captivated her audience, which shall continue to contribute to her success as a singer, songwriter, and performer.

The Band

Drummer – Daniel Touw

Keyboards – Kyle Cao

Bass – Steven Franklin

Guitar – Joey Fattore

For more about Candice Lee, visit her Link Tree Website or contact her here. Candice’s new song, Stranger, will be released on March 1.

Arlene’s Grocery
95 Stanton Street
New York, NY 10002


Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Kissing the Floor at Theater Row, Eleanor’s Story, Seth Rudesky at Café Carlyle, and Who Murdered Love.