TORONTO – Pop sweetheart Carly Rae Jepsen has been through the ringer over the past year, but you wouldn’t know it from talking to her.
The Vancouver-raised singer sounds upbeat and optimistic as she embarks on the final leg of an extensive 28-date cross-country tour with Hedley to promote her recent album “Emotion.”
Last year, the singer was facing the harshest criticism of her career as “Emotion” stumbled on the charts and ultimately sold far less than her breakout success “Kiss,” which was buoyed by the massive hit “Call Me Maybe.”
Over the past few months a somewhat different tale began to emerge as several critics championed the album as one of the best of 2015 and some of her fans launched a campaign to give its release a second wind.
Jepsen plays shows in Dawson Creek, B.C., Calgary and Edmonton this week before rolling into Prince George, B.C., Kelowna, B.C., Victoria and Vancouver next week.
She talked to The Canadian Press about the tour and what she’s thinking about next.
CP: Your Canadian tour has been incredibly extensive and you’ve done it at a breakneck pace. Have there been any standout memories?
Jepsen: The bonding moments with my bandmates have been getting to show some of our U.S. troopers — the ones who aren’t from Canada — different parts of the country. We came from Fukuoka, (Japan) and started in St. John’s, (N.L.) and that was such a strange reality check of how different the world is in different places. We’ve been enjoying barbecues in good weather. In cold weather we dance-party on the bus together.
CP: How about memories on the stage?
Jepsen: There’s a moment for a song called “I Didn’t Just Come Here to Dance” where if I see someone dancing in a really extreme way I’ll pull them on stage. There was a kid (a few) nights ago who jumped on stage with us. You wouldn’t have expected it because he seemed so shy, but the moment he got the spotlight on him, he just tore it up. It was fantastic.
CP: Some of your fans recently launched “Justice for ‘Emotion'”, a social media campaign drawing attention to a lack of nominations at major awards shows. It’s rare to see fans get behind an album in such a way. What was it like to see that?
Jepsen: My friend Brandon (showed) me an invite (to a party) being thrown in Toronto and it’s a bunch of friends getting together just to play the whole album and party to it. That sort of thing means something to me. It gives me a lot of pride that people are connecting to something I feel so strongly about.
CP: I’m going to put the pressure on you — the tour’s wrapping up and summer might offer you more free time. Could a new album be in the works?
Jepsen: It’s no pressure I don’t feel myself, but happy (to have it). (Touring is) a really great time on the road because you’re … in the back of the bus with a guitar. I do find (it’s) a really perfect time because of the fact there is no immediate deadlines for an album. You don’t have to put anything out until you want to … but I am hungry to put something out soon because the ideas are flowing.
CP: You’ve said you have dozens of songs tucked away from the creation of “Emotion.” It seems like you could have another album right now.
Jepsen: In the process of making this album there were so many songs I would’ve loved to share but there just purely wasn’t room. I actually called Jonathan (Simkin, co-founder of her label 604 Records) and was like, ‘Can I have a 42-song deluxe (album) after being gone for three years? Is that really weird?’ Ideas have been percolating for a while on how to shed light on these songs in the future.
CP: Other than writing how are you spending your downtime?
Jepsen: I’m watching “Downton Abbey.” I’m late in life and catching up on that. I’m also (a fan of) “Pride and Prejudice.” Any sort of period-piece romance. I’m surrounded by boys right now so my way of getting out of all the ‘band talk’ is to go to “Downton Abbey” and feel like I can wear pearls for a minute.”
— This interview has been edited and condensed.
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