Today, California-born artist Cam releases her single “Redwood Tree.” This latest releases sees her tap into her roots and bares her soul through the symbolic imagery of nature, telling the entire story of growing up in three minutes.
Written by Cam, Tyler Johnson (Harry Styles, Sam Smith), and Anders Mouridsen, “Redwood Tree” plays with the notions of time. Like Cam, the magnificent towers call California home, and have long been associated with the past connection of lives. In the music video, Cam’s caricature is talking directly to the tree, telling the story of how it stayed behind at home as she left to find herself (have you ever read The Giving Tree?).
The song launches listeners into its waves of vibrant sound with a quick wooden-based rhythm. Running alongside it is a single guitar before Cam comes in with a captivating vocal, holding the note at “tree” for just long enough. There’s a video of her singing Patsy Cline’s “Sweet Dreams” at the Opry a few years back. She holds the word “sweet” for a similar amount of time, and the suspense forces you to drop all and listen.
Cam’s first single “Burning House,” which earned her a Grammy nomination, struck the same deep chord as this latest track. She has reverberating anthems like “Diane” and “Till There’s Nothing Left,” and stirring ballads “Village” and “Road to Happiness.” All are particularly notable in their vocals and message. But there’s something more singular about “Redwood Tree.” It’s one of those timeless melodies you find yourself humming throughout the day, or turning up an extra notch on the volume dial on the highway, trees passing you by. It’s as if Cam understands how anyone feels after being gone for a long time. Within this song she stands next to them, staring up at that red-barked mammoth, asking the same questions.
The feeling of displacement is universal right now. Maybe it’s a yearning for home, or a younger self, or a before, more normal time. “Redwood Tree” reminds us that leaving somewhere and returning a different person is just another natural part of life.
Cam’s upcoming sophomore album will release later this year.