Elle King released her debut country album, Come Get Your Wife, earlier this year. She wrote eight of the 12 tracks on the record, which she co-produced with Ross Copperman.
“I always wondered, ‘What’s my music going to sound like if I ever get happy?’ And it’s the best music I’ve ever made,” King, 33, tells PEOPLE of the new album. “I feel so much joy in my life right now.”
When speaking of her search for happiness, King is referring to the rocky past of her ‘20s at a time when she had gone through a troubling marriage, divorce, multiple pregnancy losses, substance abuse, and depression.
“My 20s were like a f—ing tornado — a hurricane, really,” King acknowledges. “I was wild [and] I also had a lot of hurt. I didn’t know how else to get through it than distract myself and party. Would never want to go back to my 20s. But I got a lot out of my system.”
Lucky Is Elle King’s First Child
Now that King’s 20s are behind her, she couldn’t be in a better place. She’s found new love with fiancé Daniel Tooker, and the two welcomed their first child into the world, a boy named Lucky Levi.
One of the tracks on King’s new album is “Lucky,” and it’s all about her basking in the joys of motherhood. The deeply personal song finds King recalling the more turbulent times of her life and sharing her gratitude for the good fortune of her son.
“I’ve been a runner / I’ve been a fighter / I’ve been the fuse / Hell, I’ve been the lighter / Taken every wrong turn down the bridges I burned / It’s a bad reputation, but it’s damn well earned / Gotta thank God that this ol’ life ain’t fair / There’s only one way to explain how I got here / I got lucky,” King sings on the track.
Elle Cried When She First Heard “Lucky”
King recently opened up about the “Lucky” track, saying she cried the first time she played it back.
“When we wrote ‘Lucky,’ I think it was the last song we wrote. We all cried,” King shared of the song in a statement. “It’s a beautiful sentiment even if people don’t know that that is my son’s name, you know? He’s a blessing. I mean, we named him Lucky because we feel like we got lucky. And that song makes me cry, and we put his little giggle in the end, it’s really sweet.”
“I’m a pretty good singer. I like writing songs. I’m an okay banjo player, but the best job in the world that I have is being his mom,” she continued, getting emotional. “I dedicate the whole record to him because, oh my gosh. Sorry. Something just clicked in me, and I was like, I gotta do better. I’m gonna give everything in the world to him. And I feel like he just pushed me. Something about it, he’s just my greatest inspiration.”
For King, “Lucky” is a track she considers one of her favorites on the record. And what makes the song more special is her son knows it’s a tune about him.
“He was in the studio when we recorded it, and he knows that’s his song,” King told PEOPLE. “He also knows his name. But he knows that that’s for him. He recognizes my voice, and it’s beautiful to see. He’ll go up and put his hand on the speaker.”
Elle King Wants Her Son Lucky To Think He Has A Cool Mom
“I love [Lucky]. I want my family to be proud of me. And I want Lucky to think his mom is cool and know that I made this whole record, you know, with him as my driving force,” the “Ex’s and Oh’s” singer said. “….Yeah, of course, I want to be successful in life. But I’ve always wanted to be a mother.… he’s just been a joy. I laughed, and I talked to Dan, like, I feel like people know, like, I drink a lot. I party hard, and I used to party really hard. And it got me through a lot. And I laugh, and I say like, ‘Babe, when do I tell Lucky how I used to be before he reads it online? At what age do you tell your kids you were bad?”
King, who began her career in the rock, pop, and alternative worlds, changed her path to country music after teaming up with Dierks Bentley on the hit 2016 collaboration “Different For Girls.” The two also collaborate on “Worth A Shot,” which appears on her Come Get Your Wife album. King’s duet with Miranda Lambert, “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home),” is also included on the album.
King, who now lives in Nashville, Tenn., calls her crossover to country music a love letter to her childhood self. She also shares her appreciation for being embraced and welcomed into the genre by her peers.
“You know, being welcomed in this way has changed my life. It’s changed the way that I see the world. It has given me a sense of, like, being okay. And because country fans are, they’re real people. And they’re so loyal because they love what music does for them – how it connects. It’s so incredible,” King says. “Pop and rock and so many other facets of the entertainment industry that I have, you know, seen and tried to be a part of, can be very cutthroat. And I just felt like, as soon as I kind of walked into a country room, I felt like I could exhale and loosen my belt buckle… I just felt like I was home.”
“….When I became a mother, this is where I want to raise my son, and I want my son to see a different side of the entertainment industry. I’m so glad that I’m raising him here and in this musical community where that search for balance that I always used to make a joke that if anybody says they figured out balance, they’re lying. No, it’s just only in country because you can go and play shows and make music. And then you have this awesome home community of love and supportive people that get it and are in it, and they root for you,” she continued. “It was something that I had never experienced before in any aspect of my life, and once I kind of felt it. I dug my newly bought cowboy boots in, and it… I’m never leaving!“
Elle King’s Come Get Your Wife Track List
1. Ohio – Written by Elle King, Bobby Hamrick, Ella Langley & Matt McKinney
2. Before You Met Me – Written by Tofer Brown, Meg McRee & Lauren Hungate
3. Try Jesus – Elle King, Geoffrey Warburton, Casey Cathleen Smith, Ashley Gorley & Ben Johnson
4. Drunk (And I Don’t Want To Go Home) Featuring Miranda Lambert – Written by Elle King and Martin Johnson
5. Lucky – Written by Elle King, Bobby Hamrick, Ella Langley & Matt McKinney
6. Tulsa – Written by Elle King, Bobby Hamrick, Ella Langley & Matt McKinney
7. Worth A Shot (featuring Dierks Bentley) Written by Shane McAnally, Ross Copperman and Josh Osborne
8. Crawlin’ Mood – Written by Charlie Worsham & Jesse Frasure
9. Bonafide – Written by Elle King, Bobby Hamrick, Ella Langley & Matt McKinney
10. Blacked Out – Written by Elle King and Martin Johnson
11. Out Yonder – Written by Bobby Hamrick, Ella Langley & Matt McKinney
12. Love Go By – Written by Elle King, Geoffrey Warburton & Joe Janiak