For unsuspecting Carly Rae Jepsen fans, Aug. 21 was going about just like any other steamy summer Sunday—except that it was the first anniversary of Emotion, CRJ's sorry-selling but critically beloved 2015 album. So while they were listening to Emotion's glimmering pop hooks to celebrate—possibly thinking, this album is all I need—Jepsen's afternoon tweet suddenly left them anticipating even more.
"Your anniversary present is coming" she tweeted. And in just five days (a millisecond for Jepsen die-hards), Carly dished out Emotion Side B, a collection of eight high-powered tracks that didn't make it onto Emotion. It was a treat we weren't asking for, but gobbled up nonetheless.
In fact, Jepsen has gifted fans with a lot more in the past year than just Emotion (which contained a whopping 15 tracks on the deluxe edition). She recorded a cover of Wham!'s "Last Christmas" and the theme to Fuller House; she appeared on Danny L Harle's "Super Natural" and Blood Orange's "Better Than Me"; and she took on the role as Frenchie in Fox's Grease! Live. That's not to mention all the shows and festivals that she absolutely crushed.
The work ethic of the 30-year-old Canadian isn't surprising, given that at the start of her mainstream career, she told label head Scooter Braun that she'd be unrelentless. "She looked at me and said, 'Scooter, I don't care how hard I have to work. I'm going to do it. This is what I've wanted my entire life,'" he told Billboard in 2012. And with her thoughtful, quality output, as writer Steven Horowitz tweeted on Friday, "CRJ makes it so easy to be a fan."
But it wasn't always like this. When she signed Braun's major-label deal in 2012, she had a lot of material to release, but her second album, Curiosity, was whittled down to an EP by the label, who was riding out the wave of her inescapable hit "Call Me Maybe." It was nearly a full year after "Call Me Maybe" was released before her Schoolboy debut, Kiss, dropped in September 2012. And for anyone who's tapped their toes for an anticipated album, that year can feel like an eternity.
Three long years after Kiss came out, Emotion played something of the same game. While it was released in June 2015 in Japan, fans in North America had to twiddle their thumbs until its August release, five months after Emotion's first single, "I Really Like You," hit airwaves.
For fans, there's always been a waiting period for CRJ material that had been completed months ago. Sure, that's the nature of the industry when it comes to functioning under major labels, who strategize their releases for optimum impact, but with early surprise Side B, we're given the output that we know Jepsen is capable of. And she's probably sitting on so much more. It makes the empty-yet-oft-promised "soon" a little more believable.
"Here's something to hold yah over till then," Carly wrote for the release of Side B, teasing that her fourth album is on its way. But Side B isn't just a saltine you need to tamp down those hunger pangs before dinner. Side B is the ice cream sundae you get after you've already eaten a delicious dinner—a satisfying treat for the already satisfied. Jepsen fans are full for the first time in a while, and we know she's already got something else in the oven.
Time for a Carly throwback! Watch our 2012 interview below: