“I guess there’s a part of you that always wants to try something a little bit different than what you’ve done before,” says Carly Rae Jepsen.
That’s curiosity for you. It’s a good instinct to have. Without it, this Vancouver-based musician would never have left her Mission, B.C. hometown for the life of a singer-songwriter — a career that’s so far produced an acclaimed debut album (2008’s Tug of War), a MuchMusic Video Award nomination, two gold-certified singles (“Bucket,” “Tug of War”) and — to top it all — two 2010 Juno Award nominations for Best New Artist and Songwriter of the Year.
She also wouldn’t have Curiosity. That’s her new EP, a collection of heart-on-sleeve pop songs about, fittingly enough, life’s biggest curiosity — love, and all the complications that come with it. Its sound — a blend of confessional lyrics, sweet acoustic gems and straight-up pop — is just as strangely fascinating, not least of all to Carly herself. How she stumbled upon one of its main inspirations is still something of a wonder.
She was doing what she does – writing music – when something truly curious sneaked up on her. That thing was a song called – what else? – “Curiosity.” Like much of her new EP, it was crafted with long-time collaborator, writer/producer Ryan Stewart, and it’s about a girl (“or me,” she laughs) hung up on a bad boy, a guy she knows is no good, but she’ll never stop thinking about. The subject is a universal push-and-pull, one the singer-songwriter even tackled on “Tug of War” (a tune that went on to beat the likes of Nickelback to win the 2010 Canadian Radio Music Award for Song of the Year). But “Curiosity” came rushing out differently, with pop and snap and a bubblegum chorus harder to shake than the bad-boy she’s crowing about.
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