Story Behind the Song: Cam, ‘Burning House’
In June of 2015, Cam released "Burning House," from her freshman album, Untamed. The singer wrote the song with her good friend Tyler Johnson and Jeff Bhasker, after having a dream about an ex-boyfriend. Below, Cam and Johnson share the process behind writing the platinum-certified hit.
Johnson: The time difference was, like, two hours; I was in L.A., and she was in Nashville. We were trying to cram in writing … It was, like, 7:30. I was sitting in my bed, and she was like, "I just had this dream." It was very early, and she had just had this dream.
It was actually kind of a little bit of stream-of-conscious -- thank you, technology and Apple. I don’t know why I was recording; it would have been lost forever. I just started playing the riff and sang the whole first verse right after she told me the dream. She kind of articulated it that way, and I pretty much sang back to her what she said to me.
That was it; that was the first verse. It was like, submit to that. We had an odd time signature; it needed 7/8 in the verses. It came from this language, phrasing. She just said words, and I would speak them back.
It actually kind of laid dormant for a while, and then Lindsay, Cam’s manager, heard it and was [excited]. We re-birthed it, sorted out just that verse, and then brought it to Jeff to nail out the song, sort it out, like, a year later. But it all stemmed from the fact that I captured and have that original voice memo.
Cam: It was a therapy session for me while we were doing it. It’s already vulnerable, and it’s super embarrassing to sit there with your really close friends and be like, "Well, let me explain why I messed up this part of my life."