Occasionally I will poke around iTunes to see what music is out there. Sometimes I will scroll through the top 100 songs and listen to the previews. Every now and then I will stumble across a new artist and instantly become obsessed with the song. This just happened with the song “Burning House” by newcomer Cam.
I’ve seen the song on the top songs chart for a while now, but I finally decided to listen to it and I instantly could feel the heartstrings within me being pulled by the beauty of the song. So I quickly googled it to hear the whole song and stumbled across this live version and I was struck by how unreal and beautiful her voice is. It was within the first five seconds of hearing the song that I went back to iTunes and bought the song.
The mixture of Cam’s vocals and the acoustic guitar makes the song so fragile and raw, which amplifies the heartbreak within the song. My only criticism of the song (if there had to be one) is that the background vocals slightly take away from the song; they were rather unnecessary in my opinion. For instance, if you listen to the first part of the first chorus in the studio version (below, about 1:03-1:09), it leaves out the background vocals and it gives Cam more room to shine and stun with her vocal work. I also think they somewhat cover the warmth of the strings and fill a space that doesn’t need to be filled. Listen back at Sugarland’s hit song “Stay.” It featured just an acoustic guitar and Jennifer Nettles’ striking voice (there may have been an organ in there or something along those lines, but it was very subtle) and it made the song incredibly powerful. The same principle should’ve been applied here to make this gorgeous song even more beautiful.
But like I say, I think this is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard this year. It just has this rawness to it that really makes you feel something and connect with Cam. If I were a Grammy voter – and I’ve long since thought I should be, but I don’t “qualify” – I’d definitely nominate this song for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance. I can’t promise or even predict that this will happen because Cam is so new to the music scene, but I’ll be very happy if it does happen.