Contrary to what one might think, Grace Leer is loving life right now.

“I’ve been putting out a lot of heartbreak songs lately,” the American Idol alum says with a laugh during an interview with Taste of Country. “Every time I play live, I apologize for playing another heartbreak song. It's funny, because I'm actually in a very happy relationship right now."

Nevertheless, Leer has a way of making heartbreak sound so very good, so it’s not a surprise that she is releasing yet another take on lost love courtesy of her new single, “After 1.”

“We've all been in those relationships where you're trying really hard to move on from someone, but you keep going back to that person and those memories after you have that one drink,” Leer says of the song premiering exclusively on Taste of Country. “That’s the drink that just kind of loosens you up enough to start reliving those memories of that relationship. Sometimes, you just can't get away from it.”

Written alongside Dan Fernandez and Tate Howell shortly after her successful Top 11 run on Season 18 of ABC’s American Idol, “After 1” took the California native down a creative road that she had not been before.

“It felt so out of my comfort zone, but in a good way,” says Leer, whose first single, “He Brought a Girl,” was also the story of a past breakup. “I think the writing session for this song just opened me up to the fact that music should be a place where you are constantly creating something new and different. And for me, this was that song that was different than anything I'd done.”

Still, Leer also leaned on her 90s country style during the making of the song, specifically with one certain country trio in mind.

“I had the Chicks' song 'Not Ready to Make Nice' in my brain when we were in the studio that day,” Leer remembers of the song that has already become a fan favorite out on the road. “I wanted to put some dark strings on it and some cool mandolin, and [my producer] did such a great job of taking the violin and just making it sound big and dramatic. So yeah, it kind of reminded me of the Chicks a little bit.”

“For me as a new artist, I just want to put out songs that people can relate to and connect to,” continues Leer, who also collaborated with Logan Mize earlier this year on his single “Nothing With You.”

“Hopefully, not all my songs will be as heartbreaking.”

And yes, Leer's boyfriend agrees.

“He was watching me play and was asking if he needed to cause some drama or something for me to write about,” she says with another laugh. “So don’t worry, I have some love songs coming, too.”

Country 'American Idol' Stars Who Disappeared

We cheered for them. We voted for them. We followed them. Then, these seven American Idol stars vanished. Or, at least it seems like it.

What happened to some of country music's best American Idol contestants over the last 20 years? This list of country American Idol stars who disappeared includes a winner, a runner-up and a third place finisher, plus several early cuts who enjoyed radio success before losing touch with fans.

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