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Love Letter To A Record: Genes On Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘E•MO•TION’

Many of us associate particular albums with pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the first album you strummed along to on guitar, the music that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that accompanied your awkward pubescent years, or the one that inspired you to take a leap into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and helps shape who we become.

Music Feeds’ Love Letter To A Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share stories about the effect music has had on their lives. Here, Brisbane-based pop artist Genes confesses her love for Carly Rae Jepsen’s third album, E•MO•TION.

Genes on Carly Rae Jepsen’s E•MO•TION

Dear Carly Rae Jepsen (or Carly Rae Jesus as I call her),

You don’t get to meet your idols very often, but I did. I was living in Townsville at the time and flew back to my hometown of Melbourne to see CRJ play at the Forum. Just hours before the show, I had the call up from a mate to say she could take me backstage to actually meet her. Excuse me?

Hearing Carly’s Emotion album back in 2015 was a pivotal moment for me and Genes and is the reason why I make music, so I had so much I wanted to say and thank her for. We’re going down the elevator to meet Carly – I talk for a living and don’t get lost for words very often, but when I saw her in the flesh, I said, “Hi.” She graciously agreed to a photo, and that was it. Over in 12 seconds.

She went back to eating her Chinese food in the green room, and I went back up the elevator. Little did she know, she just met one of her biggest fans. A fleeting moment I’ll never forget though. I saw her play afterwards and it was one of the greatest moments of my life.

Despite an uneventful first meet, there’s a big reason why the Emotion album hits me so hard to this day, and I know it’s because the opening track is arguably the greatest Carly Rae Jepsen song of all time. It’s pop perfection, one of those records that can make you feel so happy yet so nostalgic at the same time. I can’t describe the emotion I feel when I hear ‘Run Away With Me’ – it’s melancholy, but why do I have the biggest smile on my face at the same time? And the sexy saxophone intro? Iconic.

When I first flirted with the idea of putting out my own music back in 2015, ‘Run Away With Me’ was the very first song I took into the songwriting session and I remember saying “I wanna make music like this.” From the album title track to cult classics like ‘Boy Problems’, to her biggest hit from the record, ‘I Really Like You’, this album really is one of the ones I could listen to from start to finish without ever getting sick of it.

The album – and just Carly Rae Jepsen as an artist – really strikes a chord for me because she’s not making music that necessarily has a super “deep” meaning. She leans into pop in all of its fun and isn’t afraid of it. She’s also not that active on social media, and I love her for it. She pops in every so often and says “hi, new album”, then vanishes for 12 months and then comes back again with a “hi, this is side B of the album”. Icon status.

Carly, if we do ever get to meet again, promise I’ll say more than, “Hi,” because as you can see, I think you’re pretty great. Thanks for inspiring me.

Love you xx

Genes’ new single, ‘Crumble,’ is out now.

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