They say Nashville is a 10-year town. Any musician can attest it takes nothing but time to break through the static and be heard. If you’re a woman, it could take even longer ─ if at all. Nearing that threshold, velvet-voiced singer-songwriter Mandi Sagal demonstrates with her debut single, “Smoke Your Weed,” premiering today, that she not only possesses the voice and songwriting chops to make it, but she’s more than ready for the spotlight.
“Smoke Your Weed,” co-written with Scott Trammell, soaks in the frustration of the modern dating scene. “We have someone who is texting, commenting, liking all of your posts [on social media] ─ and then when you get together in person, they become cold and uninterested,” she tells American Songwriter.
“Are you afraid of commitment / Or that this feels different / You let me in and you shut me out Where’s your head what’s it all about,” Sagal sings, struggling to make sense of a new love interest. “You send a text say come over / No I bet you aren’t sober / But I drive over anyways / Don’t wanna play the game but I’m getting played so…”
Sagal pulls her frustrations out of a very real experience that left a sour taste in her mouth. “I was kind of entertaining a relationship with this guy, who would text and blow up my socials, and then, when we would get together, he was totally uninterested,” she explains. “He had a blunt sitting on his coffee table, and I had the thought, ‘I drove all the way over here and if you aren’t even going to pay attention to me then I’ll just smoke your weed.’ And I did! I smoked his weed and then I went home and wrote the song.”
Co-produced by Caleb Gilbreath (drums, percussion) and Brad Sample (guitars), “Smoke Your Weed” doesn’t ring bitter, necessarily. Rather, Sagal shrugs it off and lets the song speak loud and clear. The track also boasts a bevy of other players, including Tim Denbo (bass), Alex Wright (keys), Tim Galloway (acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo), and Eddy Dunlap (steel guitar).
Originally a Green Bay, Wisconsin native, Sagal began singing at such public events as Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers games, and made the rounds at various summer festival circuits. She later moved to Nashville right out of high school, and while it has taken nine years, she proudly declares her artistry with “Smoke Your Weed.” Her songwriting has certainly benefited from that timeframe, calling to such influences as Fleetwood Mac, Martina McBride, John Denver, and Boston, and giving her smoky soprano plenty of room to soar.
“Way up there it must be clear that I’m paranoid / Thinking you’re annoyed with the thought of ever loving me,” she sings on the bridge. “So I’ll just keep on hanging around if you want me to / Just to be with you, ‘cause misery needs company.”
Photo by Zoe Thomas