Country newcomer Cam impressed us with her debut single “My Mistake.” The song was a nice blend of pop country with great lyrics, and Cam herself is a captivating vocalist. As a follow-up single, Cam is releasing “Burning House” off her EP. This song, thanks to some help from the one and only Bobby Bones, will get the iHeartRadio On The Verge treatment. It’s the same program that’s helped Sam Hunt become a country star. While some may question the integrity of the program, it has proven to be effective in getting new artists in the spotlight. And say what you want about Bobby Bones, the shock jock has just as many detractors as he has supporters, but for every other bad song he pushes out on his show, there’s a good one. And in the case of Cam’s “Burning House,” Bobby Bones and On The Verge have chosen a very good song to bring into the country radio spotlight.
“Burning House” features a beautifully haunting production. A simple acoustic guitar melody lays the ground for the song, and a piano and some violins chime in as the song progresses. You won’t hear percussion anywhere on this song. The lone acoustic melody on the introduction combined with the opening line of “I had a dream about a burning house” sets the mood perfectly for the sadness to come. The phrase “less is more” couldn’t be more relevant to “Burning House.” The simplicity of the three instruments allows the listener room to breathe and focus on the story.
Cam uses the metaphor of a house burning down to tell a story of a love going down in flames. The relationship is dead and it’s only a matter of time before the flames die and leaving nothing left for the two of them. Cam is at a loss of how to fix it and ultimately realizes that its best to hold on until the flames have died.
“I’ve been sleepwalking, been wandering all night trying to take what’s lost and broke and make it right. I’ve been sleepwalking too close to the fire, but it’s the only place that I can hold you tight in this burning house.”
This is the type of story song that’s lost in mainstream country. Too much of radio is too focused on being the soundtrack of good time parties and late night rendezvouses that listening to the lyrics of song has become an afterthought. And what makes “Burning House” a great song may be its Achilles’ heel on radio. Two of the previous stripped-back songs that made waves on country radio, “What We Ain’t Got” and “She Don’t Love You,” stalled at in the teens on the country charts. With that said, for an artist who’s yet to have a top 30 hit, a peak in the teens could be considered a success.
It’ll be interesting to see what On The Verge does for Cam and “Burning House.” I’d love to see this song succeed and at least chart in the upper half of the top 30. Cam’s vocals carry the melancholy tone of the song to new heights. She’s a captivating singer, and that only helps a song like this capture listeners. Unfortunately, for a song like this in today’s radio culture, it’s a game of wait and see. Regardless of how “Burning House” fares, it’s an excellent country song that everyone should hear.