Carly Rae Explains The Process Behind 'Emotion'

by Maggie Malach

Many of Carly Rae Jepsen's fans aren't old enough to have heard the '80s influences Emotion draws from the first time around, but the singer's latest album successfully brings the era to life. Although she's best known for the viral hit "Call Me Maybe" and a handful of subsequent singles, Carly Rae Jepsen's Emotion is a slick, polished project that hones in the dance-pop sound she flirted with on her previous album, Kiss. The singer began writing for E motion during what she described in an interview with Time as a "prolific month" after turning in Kiss. "I think some sort of pressure comes off when there are no deadlines in place," she explains via email. "It allowed me to write without rules or thinking and that’s usually when the best ideas come."

And many, many ideas came. While Jepsen wrote something like 200 songs in the two and half years following the release of Kiss, only 12 tracks made it on the standard release of Emotion. (An additional three songs are available on the deluxe edition.) Some songwriters might struggle to determine when a song is complete, but for Jepsen, the sign is clear. "It just feels right," she says. "It feels like I’m finally content."

Emotion also boasts a long list of incredible collaborators, ranging from Shellback ("Run Away with Me") to Sia ("Boy Problems") to Dev Hynes ("All That.") While the album is cohesive in its sound, lyrics, and subject-matter, Jepsen says she approached working with each collaborator in a different way. "I think that each writing partnership is a new dynamic," she says. "You learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses and you connect in different ways."

In discussing Emotion with Vulture, Jepsen referenced a scrapped group of indie-pop tracks that didn't make the cut on this album. What happened with those?

"It’s not exactly a whole album, it’s just a collection of songs," she explains. "Some that sounded more alternative pop and some that sounded more mainstream. It was vital to have the time to experiment and try things before landing in this world of '80s emotional pop that I found so attractive."

While the songs didn't end up on her new album, Jepsen says there's a chance fans could eventually hear them. "That being said, a lot of the songs that didn’t make it to the album’s final cut hold a dear place in my heart," she adds. "And I would like to give life to them at some point."

And fans would definitely love to hear them.