For Lucy Hale, releasing an album is a very personal experience. The Pretty Little Liars star is about to put a piece of herself out into the world with Road Between, her debut country music album. Though Lucy is extremely excited, she is also nervous, too. What did she have to tell Billboard about the “dark side” she expresses on the album?

“A lot of people don't know Lucy the person,” Lucy told the music magazine. “They just know me from characters I played. I think after listening to the album, they'll have a clearer idea of the kind of girl I am.”

Lucy talked about the societal pressure she feels as a woman to keep any negative emotion locked up tight: “it’s almost taboo [for women] to explain how you're really feeling. We're not supposed to be sad, we're supposed to act like we have it all together. This album shows my flaws, it shows me being angry, being heartbroken. I think that's cool for girls to hear that it's okay to express how you're feeling.” In this context, we’re also glad that Lucy has had a chance to explore some darker aspects of Aria this past season as her on-screen counterpart deals with the Ezria betrayal.

But does Lucy have a dark side? Can she truly relate to the songs on her album that are, as Billboard phrases it, “steeped in sadness”? “I really do [have a dark side],” Lucy said. “I'm a pretty happy person in general and I've been told I'm bubbly and outgoing. But I think those are the type of people who have the darkest side to them. I think people are really surprised that I can go to those places and relate to those moments.”

Lucy pointed to her song “Nervous Girls” as an example of a track that says “it’s okay to not be okay.” Check out some of the lyrics: "I'm that girl you think that's got it figured out, but I walk around with a head full of doubt / The cruelest words about me come from my own mouth, Yeah I'm that girl who wants what I ain't got, who looks in the mirror and sees all that I'm not.”

Lucy said it was hard at first to emote these darker emotions in her vocals, but she seems to be happy with the authenticity in the result: “It's a scary thing to be vulnerable and put yourself out there like that. But every time I perform, every time I write a song, I'm one step ahead. I'd be lying to say it wasn't hard to tap into that. I'm used to having to always be on, to always be smiling.”

Road Between drops June 3, and is already available for pre-order on iTunes.

Are you surprised to hear that Lucy has a dark side? Can you relate to what she sees as a societal pressure to always be smiling? Sound off in the comments below!

Pretty Little Liars Season 5 premiere on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Family.

Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!