Mainstream country music needs more female artists. It’s pretty simple. It’s a problem the genre has had for a while and hopefully 2015 can be the year this problem is dealt with. Mickey Guyton has already caught people’s ears with “Better Than You Left Me.” Carrie Underwood’s “Something in the Water” is experiencing a lot of success right now. This is a good start for female country artists. But we need more. Enter new country artist Cam (real name Camaron Ochs). She released her first single “Down This Road” last year. This was enough to catch the eye of Arista Nashville, who signed her in January 2015. She has experience also as a songwriter between country and pop. Her most notable co-write is Miley Cyrus’ “Maybe You’re Right,” off Cyrus’ 2013 album Bangerz. Cam is currently working on her debut album with producers Jeff Bhasker and Tyler Johnson. Today I look at her first major label single, “My Mistake.”
Right away Cam demonstrates her vocal chops, starting with a “cold opening.” It’s effective because it immediately catches the listener’s attention. The instrumentation is mostly a combination of guitar and drum loops. The bridge also features some piano play, which is a nice touch. Cam shows she has dynamic vocals throughout the song too. While she grabbed the listeners’ attentions right away, she’s also able to hold their attention throughout the song. She has good presence and it’s something that will serve her well as she is establishing herself in fans’ eyes.
The song itself is about Cam’s nightly routine through the bar scene with one random hookup after another. As she sings in the chorus:
“Just another heartache in-waiting
Just another sweet-talking dream that ends in lonely nights
Just another handsome breakup
He’ll be gone before the morning light/But he’s my mistake to make all night”
Cam knows she is continuing to make mistake after mistake. She does it in hopes it’s not just another hookup and actually turns into something more. It’s also important to point out how she says it’s her mistake. Most of these types of songs in country music today are about how the guy manipulates the woman into having sex. Instead the woman is in control here and she’s fully aware she is making a mistake too. It’s honest commentary on dating today and it doesn’t devolve into misogynistic, sexist drivel.
The only problem I have with this song is the production. It’s a little overproduced for my taste and sometimes the background noise can be more harmful than helping. Cam has a great voice so there’s no need to drown it out with unnecessary noise. Remember producers: less is more most of the time. Nevertheless I find this song to be enjoyable despite it’s flaws. It’s pop country for sure, but I find the lyrics to be quite effective and Cam’s voice really shines. The song not only has a message, but is also catchy and memorable. I think this is a good first single from Cam’s debut album to introduce herself to everyone. I would recommend checking out “My Mistake.” Cam is a country newcomer to watch in 2015.