There was a point during the creation of her new song when Cam had to reassure herself that she could sing it. Not because of vocal gymnastics, though “Till There’s Nothing Left” does have some of those, but because it’s a big-hearted anthem about loving fully, in every sense of the term — right up to the line about an intimate encounter in the backseat.
“Women talk about [sex] and it starts to get weird for some reason,” says the “Burning House” singer. “You feel embarrassed because you’ve been shamed about it for some reason. Me and my husband, we’ll go have quickies in the backseat. But do I talk about that out loud? ‘No, I couldn’t possibly.’ I had to have a moment with myself, like, ‘No, sex is ours too. This is my love. I get to talk about this and talk about the commitment I have and how romantic that can be.’”
Written in Los Angeles by Cam with Hillary Lindsey, Tyler Johnson, and Jeff Bhasker, “Till There’s Nothing Left” is the performer’s first single from her upcoming second album, slated for release in summer 2020. It’s steeped in the romantic swoon of Eighties synth pop, but mixed with some sighing pedal steel and Cam’s direct, emotive vocal delivery. In true Cam fashion, it’s also a little defiant of the general trend toward faster songs in country and beyond.
“Obviously most people want tempo,” says Cam, who joined Diplo on 2019’s “So Long” and also covered Christine & the Queens’ “La Marcheuse.” “But if you go too fast, you lose the swag. It has this sexual, hip swag to it. In in my mind it has this Chris Isaak [sings ‘Wicked Game’] moment. It feels like it’s supposed to pull at you.”
That slowed-down approach (and the apocalyptic new music video) helps drive the message home. It’s about giving one’s all in a loving relationship, as if time is running out (because it is), but never losing a sense of one’s agency. “I wanna know what it feels like to disappear into you and never have to say goodbye,” Cam sings at one point.
“It sounds really simple, but to actually give that of yourself while still feeling like yourself is a big statement,” she says. “I’m not doing this where I’m bending over backward and becoming somebody that’s not me anymore. I know who I am and that’s what I want to give.’”
“Till There’s Nothing Left” builds toward a cinematic finish, capped off by ringing guitars and some impressive, powerful vocals from Cam. That’s a big feature of her upcoming album, she notes, mixing some of her signature restraint with a bigger vocal attack.
“My voice has gotten so strong,” she says. “That has always been the element I want to be the most emotive and the reason you get drawn in and believe me, and believe that it’s your story too and get to connect with it.”
The release of “Till There’s Nothing Left” marks the latest in Cam’s artistic output after parting ways with Sony Music Nashville in 2018. Since then, she has opted to release music solely through the company’s New York office.
“I’d always been working with New York and Nashville and for me, there was a clear moment where the Nashville operations were not in line with my values,” she says. “So I had to purposely make a split and no longer work with that brand. It’s very scary as an artist to make that kind of move, but you have to make sure you’re in the right place for yourself that’s gonna let you do what you want to do, not just musically but in business and who you are as a person.”
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