What has Carly Rae Jepsen been up to since Emotion? A guide to her recent work
From televised musicals to exciting collabs, the Canadian pop star has had a busy few years
After four long years, Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen is set to return this Friday, May 17 with her brand new album, Dedicated.
The highly anticipated followup to 2015's critical hit — and Polaris Music Prize shortlisted contender — Emotion, Dedicated promises to be another collection of love songs that will make listeners swoon, cry and definitely dance. (She recently told Rolling Stone that the original concept for Dedicated was "chill disco" songs, a theme that a single like "Julien" still adheres to.)
Four years is a relatively long time between albums, but Jepsen has spent much of that interim keeping busy with various projects. Fear not, though, if you haven't been paying close attention: below, we've detailed every important thing Jepsen has done since releasing Emotion and leading up to Dedicated.
From unexpected collaborations to forays into television, Jepsen's time spent between records is an interesting look at an artist who isn't afraid to try new sounds, forge new musical partnerships and be adventurous with her choice of projects. With the diversity of work documented below, one would hope that Jepsen has applied some of these new learnings to her new album. We'll find out if that's the case very soon.
Feb. 1, 2016: Jepsen is an avid fan of musicals, as evidenced by her 2014 turn as Cinderella on Broadway. Just months after the release of Emotion, she signed on to play Frenchy in Fox's Grease: Live, a televised remake of the popular 1978 film. While her character didn't have a song in the original movie, in Grease: Live, Jepsen wrote and performed a new song, "All I Need is an Angel," in the TV special. Grease: Live went on to win four Emmy Awards.
Feb. 25, 2016: Following her stint on Grease: Live, Jepsen found another gig on the small screen: recreating the theme song to the rebooted '90s sitcom Full House, now titled Fuller House. Having teamed up with the song's original songwriter and performer, Jesse Frederick, Jepsen's version didn't stray far from the original but its fun and joyous melody was a clear fit for the pop singer.
Aug. 12, 2016: Jepsen joined forces with U.K. producer Danny L Harle of the London electronic music collective PC Music on the song "Super Natural." In an interview with the Fader, Jepsen called PC Music's brand of dance music "thought-provoking" and "really refreshing."
Aug. 26, 2016: She released Emotion: Side B, the eight-song EP that acted as a companion to her 2015 hit album. Side B included some of the 250 songs Jepsen had written for Emotion, but didn't make the cut. This record was regarded by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Spin and more as one of the best albums or EPs of 2016.
Sept. 18, 2016: Jepsen made her first appearance ever at the Polaris Music Prize gala, performing a beautiful rendition of her Emotion single "Your Type," accompanied by a guitarist and string quartet. Emotion lost the Polaris title to Kaytranada's 99.9%.
Dec. 16, 2016: Blood Orange, who co-wrote and co-produced the Emotion track "All That," released his album Freetown Sound on June 28. By the year's end, he released a music video for his Jepsen-featured song "Better Than Me," which included a cameo by the Canadian star.
April 17, 2017: Bleachers, the project of musician, songwriter and producer Jack Antonoff, enlisted Jepsen for "Hate That You Know Me," off his album Gone Now. Jepsen's partnership with Antonoff goes back to 2015 when she covered the Bleachers song "Shadow" for the band's Terrible Thrills, Vol. 2 compilation.
May 26, 2017: Jepsen released "Cut to the Feeling," a song that she originally wrote for Emotion but left off the final tracklist. Instead, the song was added to the soundtrack of the 2016 Canadian film Ballerina, which was released in the U.S. as Leap! in 2017. The track was a critical hit and landed on year-end best-of lists by CBC Music, Billboard, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.
June 13, 2017: Emotion: Side B was longlisted for the Polaris Music Prize but unlike its previous contender, it didn't make it to the top 10 short list this time. Lido Pimienta's La Papessa was the year's big winner.
Aug. 17, 2017: Katy Perry announced her Witness tour, which included openers Jepsen, Noah Cyrus and fellow Canadian act Purity Ring.
Nov. 10, 2017: BC Unidos, the musical project of successful songwriters/composers Markus Krunegård and Patrik Berger, released its debut EP, Bicycle. Jepsen is featured on the track "Trouble in the Streets."
Dec. 15, 2017: Pop star Charli XCX returned with her Pop 2 mixtape. Its opening number "Backseat," featuring Jepsen, was produced by head of PC Music, A.G. Cook.
Nov. 1, 2018: Our first glimpse at Jepsen's new album, Dedicated, was revealed in the form of "Party for One," an up-tempo pop number about embracing self-love.
Feb. 13, 2019: Another new song was previewed in the trailer for the third season of Netflix's Queer Eye. The song, "Now That I Found You," later received a music video treatment that told a love story between Jepsen and a cat. (Another song, "No Drug Like Me," was also released alongside "Now That I Found You.")
Feb. 18, 2019: Jepsen performed the national anthem at the 2019 NBA All-Star Game.
April 19, 2019: The Handmaid's Tale star Max Minghella made his directorial debut with the Elle Fanning flick Teen Spirit. In it, Fanning performed a number of covers but the film also featured an unreleased Jepsen song called "Wildflowers." The track, which was co-written by Antonoff, is another song leftover from Jepsen's Emotion era.
On that same day, she released another new single from Dedicated called "Julien."
May 9, 2019: Just two weeks before the release of Dedicated, Jepsen released one more single, "Too Much."