Cam’s Unusual “Untamed” Cover Dates Back to Her Childhood

Sony Music Nashville/Ninelle Efremova

As Cam‘s first full-length album, Untamed, arrives in stores and online today, the “Burning House” hitmaker says it’s a pretty good picture of her life in her twenties. But the unusual cover photo, showing her drinking from a straw stuck into a lemon, actually takes its inspiration from her childhood.

“When I was little, I remember seeing one of those Tropicana ads with the orange and the straw stuck in it and we had fruit trees in my backyard,” she recalls. “This was when I was really little, like younger than five, and we were in southern California, so we had lemon trees. And my sister and I demanded that my dad get a lemon and stick a straw in it so we could try that. And he was like, ‘You’re not going to like this.’ And we were like, ‘We don’t care!'”

As predicted, Cam remembers she and her sister didn’t care much for the undiluted lemon juice. But the former psychology major says it ended up being the perfect metaphor to sum up this collection of tunes.

“All these songs, they’re all these personal narratives, and just the lessons that come with each of these songs is mostly how to accept things as they are, and not try to sugar it down or sweeten it up — and not try to make lemonade out of lemons but how to just drink lemons straight, you know,” she reflects. “And that’s how you’re going to experience life fully and that’s how you’re going to learn to be yourself fully. And that’s kind of what this five years of being in my twenties was learning, again and again,” she laughs.

This week, her breakout hit, “Burning House,” not only checked into the top five, it also grabbed a Grammy nomination for Best Country Solo Performance for the newcomer. Next year, she’s set to play the prestigious New Faces show at Country Radio Seminar and hit the road with Brad Paisley.

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