Our Take: Country Music’s Next Big Artist, Laci Kaye Booth, Wows on Debut Album ‘The Loneliest Girl in the World’

The Loneliest Girl in the World - Laci Kaye Booth
The Loneliest Girl in the World - Laci Kaye Booth

Emily's Take

10 Music Quality
6 Sonic Diversity
10 Content Originality
10 Lyricism
10 Production
10 Memorability
10 Arrangement
Singer/songwriter Laci Kaye Booth has risen from the ash to create an insightful, soulful, and lyrically smart record with her triumphant debut album, ‘The Loneliest Girl in the World.’
‘The Loneliest Girl in the World’ – Laci Kaye Booth

In the bridge of her debut album’s opening track, “Cigarettes,” Laci Kaye Booth sings/shouts, “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.” Quickly, you realise this woman with the Rapunzel-like golden locks, pillowy lips, and doe-eyes, is made of steely determination – and will take no prisoners when it comes to making her art.

If Booth’s name sounds familiar, it’s because she finished in the Top 5 of American Idol’s 17th season (which premiered in 2019). Off the back of this success, Booth signed to Big Machine, where she released her self-titled EP, but was quickly dropped by the label. In “Cigarettes,” Booth gives a nod to that experience, singing, “And the same champagne that they bought me, I popped it when they dropped me.

The Loneliest Girl in the World - Laci Kaye Booth
The Loneliest Girl in the World – Laci Kaye Booth

Booth is now comfortably ensconced at Geffen Records, and recently released her debut album, The Loneliest Girl in the World, a soulful country record produced by Ben West. The record is a breath of fresh air in a genre dominated by mediocre bro-country and problematic singers throwing chairs off rooftop bars. Booth brings a realness and authenticity to the table of country music.

Booth released three singles in the run up to release day – “Cigarettes,” “True Love,” and “Sometimes” – but the song that stands out and is very much as the centrepiece of the album is “I Let Him Love Me.” The album’s ninth track showcases Booth’s smoky vocals and clever and often biting lyricism:

You grew me like a flower
I loved you like the sun
You ran like water
I could never ever get enough
I was already yours
You were never quite mine
And I didn’t want to see
what was right in front of me

What was there in your eyes

There are moments on this song that all women will relate to: A first love, and how we loved that first love, compared with how we love now as we’ve grown. “Now that we’re older, and I can see what you did when I loved you like a kid.”

Booth tells Atwood Magazine that “this album has been two years in the making, but has taken a whole life of heartache, loneliness, failure, and big dreaming to create. I’m so happy to finally share what is truly a piece of my heart with the world.”

Laci Kaye Booth © Natalie Sakstrup
Laci Kaye Booth © Natalie Sakstrup

“I Let Him Love Me” feels like all those things in one song. Booth has said she hopes this album is a healing record for the listener. I believe it is. She is nothing but compassionate to her younger self, and everything is a lesson to learned and what has made Booth into who she is now. On the song “Nightmare” she sings matter-of-factly, “I never throw the first stone, but I have a collection, And I love being touched, but damn, I hate affection.”

Booth describes “Cigarettes,” the album’s first single and opening track, as “a true-life story, not a highlight reel… ‘cigarettes’ has multiple meanings throughout the song. I wrote this at one of the lowest points of my career and life, with my dear friend and producer, Ben West. It has sorrow, shame, grit, and hope written all within it and I hope the message that’s received from this is to learn from the hard shit, learn to let it go, and let it make you better.”

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

Laci Kaye Booth © Natalie Sakstrup
Laci Kaye Booth © Natalie Sakstrup

“True Love” was a song Booth wrote when she was with Big Machine, but she was told she couldn’t release the track as it was “so sleepy” and “un-releasable.” Big Machine’s loss is Geffen (and Booth’s) win.

She says, “‘True Love,’ a record written by very true events, is a song that I am truly happy to finally share with the world. After years of being told I couldn’t release it, and then keeping it to myself, I decided that my heartbreak fairytale of a song needed its day in the sun.”

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?

The title track is an anthem to independent women who perhaps haven’t followed the well-trodden path society pushes us onto – relationships, weddings, marriages, and motherhood and kids.

Booth lists all the reasons being “the loneliest girl in the world” is actually pretty good; king size beds, getting high, drinking your favourite white wine, and most importantly, enjoying and making music.

She falls asleep with the TV on
And she sips Sauv Blanc ’til the bottle’s gone
No, it ain’t all that but it ain’t half bad
Got a dirty mouth and a mind to match, yeah
She coulda made it to the altar
But she ain’t the type of bitch you can alter
I guess that’s me, the loneliest girl in the world
Laci Kaye Booth © Natalie Sakstrup
Laci Kaye Booth © Natalie Sakstrup

The Loneliest Girl in the World is a triumph.

Booth and West have created a very special record that pushes the boundaries of country lyricism, and showcases a complete female perspective, something that is often missing from American country music.

Her debut LP tells the story of where Booth’s been and where she’s going next. She includes voice memos from old childhood videos and voice messages from family on the album, adding further texture and depth to an already personal record.

Don’t let Laci Kaye Booth’s specificity put you off; there are plenty of universal experiences to be found on The Loneliest Girl in the World.

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:: stream/purchase The Loneliest Girl in the World here ::
:: connect with Laci Kaye Booth here ::
“The Loneliest Girl in the World” – Laci Kaye Booth

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The Loneliest Girl in the World - Laci Kaye Booth

Connect to Laci Kaye Booth on
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Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Natalie Sakstrup

:: Stream Laci Kaye Booth ::

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