In summer of 2015, a smoky, mournful ballad called “Burning House” sparked its way up the country charts, carrying the debut female country artist who sang it into territory that women rarely see on the radio. The songwriter, Camaron Ochs, who performs simply as Cam, had released her initial EP Welcome To Cam Country that March, and bolstered by support from radio personality Bobby Bones, her unlikely, heartbreaking song hit No. 2 on the Country Billboard chart, and No. 29 on Billboard‘s overall hot 100. Later on, the track went platinum and even picked up a Grammy nomination.
For those who have not been following the recent struggle that women in country have faced when it comes to radio and award shows, those numbers are nothing short of momentous. When Ochs’ full-length debut, Untamed, was released at the tail-end of 2015, it was more of the same. I picked it as the number one country record of the year, and along with the rest of the world, have been eagerly awaiting Cam’s follow-up.
Nearly three years later, anyone who follows contemporary country is more than familiar with this three letter sensation, the California girl who is remaking country music in her own image, along with a host of other spitfires like Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, and Carly Pearce. In October of last year, she finally did return with the fiery country swinger “Diane,” a self-styled response to Dolly Parton’s iconic cheating song “Jolene,” this one giving us the perspective of the other woman with stark, unflinching honesty. Following up the new track with a mini west coast tour and a throwback ’70s video a couple weeks ago, Ochs is clearly getting back in gear and nearing the release of her sophomore album.
Though she hasn’t yet shared the release date or title, I recently spoke with Cam by phone about what we can expect from her upcoming record, the emotional ramifications of grappling with the positive success of such a heart-rending song in “Burning House,” and what she’s learned being a part of Nashville over the course of the last few years. Read our conversation below.