ToC Critic’s Pick: Cam, ‘Burning House’ [Listen]
Cam's delicate voice is as memorable as her story of heartbreak in "Burning House," her new single on Sony Nashville. The newcomer’s performance is stark and personal. Her production team does a great job of not getting in the way.
A performance this raw and emotional should not be covered with a heavy arrangement, and “Burning House” isn't. The song grows to a swell during the final chorus, but the only added layers are her own vocals.
“I been sleepwalking, been wandering all night / Trying to take what's lost and broke and make it right / I been sleepwalking, too close to the fire / But it's the only place that I can hold you tight / In this burning house,” Cam sings.
Piano, the gentle pull of strings and acoustic guitar are all that accompany Cam through most of the song. The introduction finds her sharing a stage with a guitar riff, harmonizing like Brad and Allison. A great vocal performance would be wasted with a mediocre lyric. That’s not a concern here. The songwriting team penned a dark, descriptive and sharp knife of a story.
“I had a dream about a burning house / You were stuck inside, I couldn't get you out / I laid beside you and pulled you close / And the two of us went up in smoke,” Cam sings to begin the song and the long metaphor that follows.
“Love isn't all that it seems, I did you wrong / I’ll stay here with you until this dream is gone.”
That’s the line that stirs the pot. Cam is the one who wronged her man, not vice-versa. The other way around is an over-told story, but there’s nothing unoriginal about “Burning House.”
Key Lyrics: "The flames are getting bigger now / In this burning house / I can hold on to you somehow / In this burning house / Whoa, and I don't wanna wake up / In this burning house."
Did You Know?: Cam wrote "Burning House" with Tyler Johnson and Jeff Bhasker. Bhasker helped write "Uptown Funk," the hit song from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.
Listen to Cam, “Burning House”