Exclusive Premiere: Mary Sarah Smolders on Brand New “Without You”


Mary Sarah might not have won “The Voice” last year (because we can’t have nice things)– but don’t worry about her, she’s just fine. At least, that’s what she confidently admits in her new song “Without You,” a mid-tempo, classic-swinging break-up song which frames her twang front-and-center. One Country is honored to get our hands on the premiere, and she makes us want to get all dolled up for a night on the town, to shake off our own troubled heartache. “I’ve got a move-on love song that I’m singing to,” she croons on the hook, over the swirling of steel and finger-snaps. “Baby, I’m all good without you,” she later smirks.

The song “came from a true experience in my life,” she tells us. “I went through a really tough break-up of three years. It was the first real relationship in my life where I gave a lot of myself for someone else. It was tough because I lost myself a lot through it, and when I thought of not talking with someone that I had given so much of my time to, it hurt.”

Meanwhile, at the time of the break-up, her career was hitting new highs. “A break-up was not what I needed at all. So, I had to decide, do I cry over it? Do I sit and think of that person? Do I get lost in the fact the I am ‘Alone’?” she ponders. “Or, do I try my best to find the positive. And, that’s how [the song] came about. The song tells of realizing that who you date does not make you who you are. Who you are is who you choose to be! ‘Without You’ is meant to be a song that helps those struggling from a breakup.”

From the guitar strains to Sarah’s honest, pristine vocal, “Without You” (out this Friday) is sorrowful but empowering. “I gotta throwback, comeback step in my groove,” she later sings. “I got these going-out, paint-the-town red pair of shoes. You bet I do.”

On writing the song, she confirms it was a rather easy write. “When you write about real experiences in your life, you have a lot of perspective and insight to how those situations made you feel,” she says. “I have to give credit to Mike Walker, David Garcia, and Bart Butler for writing it with me because they helped to open my eyes to the idea of finding a positive in it all and capturing it in such a unique way. Writing for me is like a stress ball. It relieves the tension, and it’s a release. ”

And that fierce, commanding vocal you hear? That was “cut right there in the writing session,” Sarah reveals. “I think when we went to fully produce the song, everyone didn’t want to change the vocal. I attribute that to the fact that a lot of the times when you write about real experiences, you hear the most feeling and passion the day of the write. It’s the first time you really let go of a situation when you write about it. I would say the vocal definitely came across that way.”

For fans curious about her next project, Sarah is uncertain what her next moves will be. “I haven’t yet decided if I will release a full album or just continue to release music as I make it. I love the idea of continually allowing my fans to hear what I am writing and to know me as an artist as I grow and change,” she says. “I feel that being a true artist, you cannot be afraid to share your life with your fans. Either way, I have continued to create new music and I do plan on releasing music following [this song].

Listen to “Without You”: