Alessandro Chille

Premiere | Brett Cameron Hangs Onto Dying, Flaking 'Roses in the Backseat'

The electro-pop newcomer weeps over a broken relationship with a sweeping power ballad.

Cameron poeticizes on a tragic breakup.

We've all been victims of the past. Remnants stick to our spirits and shake us to the core, and no matter what side we land on, there's no shame in wanting to fix it somehow. Out of the shiny New York cityscape, electro-pop purveyor Brett Cameron attempts to glue together the fragments of a relationship that has since shattered all over the kitchen floor, pieces scattered and crumbling across hardwood, a juxtaposition of fragility and strength.

"Roses in the Backseat," which first twinkles with piano chords before percussion ignites from the inside out, sees Cameron grasping for straws. "It's more than a trick to make it right / I understand why that's not tonight / Maybe it's best to keep my heart inside," he sings, his vocal intensifying with the ascension of drums into the ether and then falling away like rose petals.

Steve Cartagena/Style: mrflexgawd

Premiering on Popdust today, "Roses in the Backseat" is the last faded Polaroid flicked out the window at dusk. It's the final shock of sexual tension that lingers on the lips. It's the quaking heartbeats caught between blissful fantasy and confronting the truth. And somewhere wandering between here and there, Cameron, eyes wide closed, tricks himself into thinking the past is the present. He explains, "'Roses in the Backseat' comes from the perspective of wanting nothing more than to mend a relationship that is broken but being the person who put it in that position in the first place. I was playing around on my grandparent's Steinway ⎯⎯ it needs to be tuned, but is still the most gorgeous sounding piano I've ever played on ⎯⎯ and the chorus just unfolded immediately."

Alessandro Chille/Edit: Isabelle Van Vleet

"The first tangible word that came out of the jumble on my voice memo was 'roses,' and the melody felt defiant yet regretful," he continues. "This confluence of lyric and emotion guided the song thematically into what is now an ode to hope and heartbreak." The almost ethereal quality of the production, even as the drums and rhythms rise and bubble over the listener, reaches a state of sheer euphoria by the end. The guitars dice through the noise, and while Cameron's heart might be forever damaged, he has at least come closer to accepting his god's honest truth.

Formerly of Kalimur, Cameron, now 23, steps out on his own with an impressive body of work. "Roses in the Backseat," a towering pop hook worthy of The Chainsmokers and Halsey, follows on the heels of his solo debut record, Mazes, earlier this summer and another one-off single called "Feel Alive." In all, he has become a master of blurring the lines between genres and adhering to a formula that sets him apart and feels truly commercially digestible.

Listen below:


Single Art by Tirza van Dijk

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Jason Scott is a freelance music journalist with bylines in B-Sides & Badlands, Billboard, PopCrush, Ladygunn, Greatist, AXS, Uproxx, Paste and many others. Follow him on Twitter.


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