I found this article on Buzzfeedlisting the forty underrated pop songs of 2016. Naturally I found it intriguing – I’m always up for new music to listen to. I listened through most of them, and one of the songs they list is “Pretty Girl” by Maggie Lindemann (below). When I went to the YouTube video, one of the comments suggested changing the video speed to 1.25 (you can do that by clicking on the little cog icon). And, my god, what a good idea. The faster tempo suits the song better. Perhaps we know why it was “underrated” (more like unknown) in 2016.
Personally, I thought the best songs in the list were:
I’ve been playing guitar for almost seven years…which is completely odd to think about. It feels like yesterday when I was saving up my money to buy my guitar and persuading my parents to take me to the guitar store to buy one…
For the most part, I’ve taught myself how to play the guitar. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some genius who figured out all the techniques, it took some Googling, watching of YouTube videos, and asking my friend who is a great guitarist for tips. And I’m not like Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton. But I know enough to write my songs and play my favorite tunes.
Anyway, I’ve been kind of obsessed with Cam’s song “Burning House.” I think the guitar (and her voice) is just incredibly beautiful in that song. The other day I was thinking “I wish I could play the guitar part of ‘Burning House,” and then I thought “Well…why can’t I?” So, I searched YouTube and found this video:
For the most part, I can play the whole intro. The slide is a bit tricky (as he says in the video), but it’s quite fun to play. Plus you sound like a pro once you get the arpeggios down.
I figured I’d share if anyone was looking for a good tutorial on how to play “Burning House.” Even if you’re not familiar with the song, it’s good to work on your pick/pluck work (I don’t know what you’d call it, but it’s good practice is all I’m saying). I will say that the guy in the video goes kind of fast, so you might have to rewind a bit, but it is a good tutorial.
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.
"Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve." – JK Rowling