Laci Kaye Booth Writes with Raw Honesty on New Album, ‘Loneliest Girl in the World’

“Dreamy Country.” That’s what Laci Kaye Booth has dubbed her unique brand of twang. And that tracks. Booth’s often languid and smooth, lush vocals are the stuff of dreams. Her latest pursuit, The Loneliest Girl in the World, calls to mind classic country artists crooning their way through yet another heartbreak.

Videos by American Songwriter

In fact, one of the songs she created for this record, “True Love,” was so “sleepy” that her former record label found it unreleasable. She was eventually able to share the track as a single in February 2024, and the response has been the opposite of sleepy. But the adversity she went through definitely colored her approach moving forward. Because Booth is more than just a stunning vocalist; she’s an artist with something to say. 

“The team I had around me back then, I think they wanted me to go more ‘radio,’” Booth tells American Songwriter. “I was hoping for a better reaction, but I didn’t get it. I think my heart was crushed.”

Booth turned that heart-crushing moment into momentum. Now under the banner of a new label, Booth is drawing her listeners closer to her story—her journey from American Idol alum to burgeoning country star with a unique perspective. 

“I remember feeling like a failure,” Booth says about her career setbacks. “I was thinking on my life and the failures I had [while writing]. I wanted to write my life story, not the highlight reel.”

The record’s thesis statement is “Cigarettes.” On the track, Booth charts a course through her rebellious years and the trouble she faced finding footing in the music industry. But as each chorus expresses, she’s ultimately thankful for the life lessons those struggles have earned her. 

I learned sometimes your first don’t last
I learned to scream, I learned to laugh
I learned to live with my regrets
I learned I hate, I hate cigarettes

“‘Cigarettes’ was the song that made me believe in writing raw honesty,” Booth says of the breakout track. 

Booth more or less started her career by auditioning for American Idol in 2019. She reached the Top 5 before being sent home without the title. After that, her record deal fell through, giving the Texas native another crushing blow. The second verse of “Cigarettes” chronicles the challenging experience.

I was all of 23, didn’t know what I didn’t know
They swore I’d be the next big thing
But the room was full of smoke
Had to watch my dream fall through

Laci Kaye Booth (Photo by Natalie Sakstrup)

As the song suggests, Booth has emerged from her career struggles with a more robust understanding of herself as a person and as an artist. That’s not to say the entirety of The Loneliest Girl in the World is a commentary on her professional life. Booth takes time to cover one of the most familiar topics in country music, too: heartbreak of the romantic persuasion. 

“I compare it to a country romance novel,” Booth explains. “I think there’s a lot of lonesome weaved all within it. I loved Merle Haggard as a kid, and Willie Nelson. I felt it in Patsy Cline’s music. I think they had a lot of lonesome in their songs too.” 

Circling back to “True Love,” the track uses a heart-piercing play on words in the chorus that proves Booth’s sad country songs game is on point.

I never thought that it was really goodbye
We said forever, baby, maybe that’s why
It hit me right out of the blue
When I heard you found somebody new
Is it true, love?

Booth seems intent on maintaining a nice middle ground with the music she’s making. On one hand, she is a meditative and introspective songwriter who isn’t afraid to showcase her lows and idiosyncrasies. On the other hand, her music is universal enough (previous labels’ skepticism be damned) to see her yet become a staple on country radio. 

The Loneliest Girl in the World may not be Booth’s first project, but it is undoubtedly her most self-assured. “I think it’s a very healing [album],” Booth says. “Even though most of the songs are sad, I think that’s very healing for people to feel and relate to. I hope it also gives [listeners] a world to escape reality to.”

Main photo by Natalie Sakstrup

Leave a Reply

4 of the Most Underrated Guitarists of All Time

Vince Gill

Essential Vince Gill Tracks: 4 Vital Deep Cuts for True Fans