Like the yellow ray of sunshine that Cam is, so is her debut full-length album Untamed. Cam is releasing Untamed on December 11th, which features her singles "My Mistake" and "Burning House," along with nine other new songs.
Cam started writing this album five years ago, and tells iHeartRadio that she created a Kickstarter campaign to help her raise the funds to get studio time to record. Cam calls recording Untamed, a "fun, long journey of self-discovery."
In fact, Cam wrote/co-wrote all of the songs on her new album, and the tracks are autobiographical. She explains to us that the songs embody lessons that she's learned over the last five years. Cam also explains that this idea is reflected in the album's cover art, which features the country singer drinking a lemon out of a straw.
On the Untamed album art
"Most of it's about accepting life as it is, and not trying to ... when life hands you lemons, make lemonade, but instead just drink it straight, and be who you are, and don't avoid all the bad parts. Because those are really important too and help you learn who you are, and help you experience it all more fully."
Cam tells iHeartRadio that the decision to call the album Untamed has to do with the meaning behind the record's title track. The song is inspired by "going off the beaten path" to the perfect party spot -- and where the cops don't know about.
On calling the album Untamed
"It's about having your own kind of party with your own rules, and you're just being free. You get to be who you want to be. And that is the journey that I've been on this entire time with this album. I got to write and make the music I wanted to make, and we weren't fully in the Nashville system yet. So not on purpose trying to be different, but we just made our own party. And everyone is so invited to come enjoy it and just be themselves. I think by me trying to be my most real self, it helps everybody else feel like they can be themselves. So, Untamed is just this ... it's just not done up in any way. It's not trying to be anything else than what it is. So it's kind of wild and real."
Photo: Getty Images
Cam's Untamed features her hit single "Burning House," which she tells us, despite its very vulnerable characteristic, is garnering a positive reaction from fans. She says that they stop her often to tell her about the first time they heard it and how much it relates to them. "It feels like a big hug that there's a lot of other people that know exactly what that means."
On the of her hit song "Burning House"
"I get stopped all the time and people tell me they heard it on, in their car, they had to pull over and cry. So, it makes me so happy that a song that is very vulnerable for me, because I'm basically admitting that I was a jerk to someone else and that there's no way I can fix it in real life, and I'm stuck trying to fix it in my dreams. That's not something that you're really proud of, and it hurts to kind of talk about."
Out of all eleven new songs on Untamed, the one that his most personal to Cam is the last track on the record, and it's called "Village." The song was inspired by her best friend's older brother, who was tragically killed in an avalanche. Cam describes this song as difficult for her to sing, but also hard to just listen to. "It's a really heavy song, but that's what country music's about, real stuff. And it gives you a chance to cry, because sometimes you just need to cry."
So, you might want to grab a box of Kleenex while you read the story behind "Village."
Photo: Getty Images
On the meaning behind her song "Village"
"I think that the song on Untamed that's the most personal to me would be 'Village.' That is one that I actually started writing with another writer, and then I sort of hijacked it and said, 'I really need to write this song about this specific thing.' I grew up with a girl named Claire Rudolph and from like fourth grade to the end of high school, we were best pals, and her older brother was like my older brother because I didn't have one. So just family time and hanging out at their house, they were like a really close family group. And when we got to high school, he'd drive Claire and I, because we were freshman, he was a senior, so he'd drive us to school and I'd be terrified and in awe of how cool he was. He wasn't like the jock or the best looking dude. He just was the nice guy that everybody knew and loved to be around. A lot of times in your 20s, its hard to encourage each other because you're so in your own head and kind of insecure, and he just was like, 'I love what you're doing with your music and I'm so proud of you.' And a few years ago, he was killed in an avalanche, and that was my first time losing someone that was so close, and so young, and I didn't know how to handle it. I definitely knew that Claire didn't know how to handle it. I remember spending some time with her. She was living in St. Louis at the time and we were just up there hanging out. She had just had her first kid about a month after Chris passed away, and we'd sit there and just talk about how it's such a bummer that he wasn't going to be around for a lot of stuff. You think about that stuff a lot when you have a new kid, and the thing that I really wanted to do for her is tell her what I thought he would want to tell her, and this is what I would want to tell my sister if something happened to me. It's just that your heart is made up and shaped by all these people that have loved you in your life, and that you have loved. So I pictured it as this little village with all these little houses in it, and the people that have loved you live in there, and even when it feels like they're gone, they're never really gone."
Well, after that story, this might put a smile on your face. Cam is known for her love of the color yellow. She wears it all the time, and it's prominently showed on her album art with the lemon. So what's the deal with her yellow obsession?
On why she loves the color yellow so much
"Yellow is like my California sunshine I get to take with me everywhere. Everybody is nicer to me when I'm in yellow, and I feel like a nicer person in yellow. It sort of embraces the whole idea that there's optimism. Even to saddest songs. So yellow is kind of like my visual reminder of that."