I am of the opinion that Carly Rae Jepsen is our pop music queen and savior.
In all my personal playlists, there is at least one Carly Rae Jepsen song for me to nod my head along to. Whether I’m aching to let loose and celebrate out of kilig or sobbing because my crush won’t love me back (which is a common occurrence), Carly Rae Jepsen has been my shoulder angel singing sweet lyrics into my ear. Whatever mood I’m in or whatever e•mo•tion I’m feeling, Carly Rae just understands me.
Here’s a list of songs for whatever you’re feeling because of your crush–Carly Rae’s got you.
9. When you realize that you really (really really really) like them – I Really Like You
Butterflies, the inability to stop thinking about them, the usual inane thoughts, it’s that feeling. When you find that they’ve occupied your thoughts much longer than the paper you should be working on or the work you need to get to, you’ve definitely developed a crush.
You entertain ideas of seeing them or bumping into them by accident somewhere obscure and so you are dressed to the nines just in case you do see them no matter how unlikely. You’re suddenly hyper-aware of your appearance, to the point that you’re retroactively berating yourself for any of the times you interacted with this person and didn’t check if there was still food in your teeth.
This song’s got it. The rush, the desire to be close, the acknowledgment that this isn’t love but it’s one “really” away from something like it. Ride that high, play this in the background.
8. When you’re off the charts kilig and are imagining a future with your crush – Cut to the Feeling
This upbeat and super catchy song had our hearts pumping as soon as it was released. It’s a bouncy and refreshing love song, capturing the complete elation of being enamored with someone to the point where you imagine dancing on the roof or playing amongst angels. It’s hyperbolic but still genuine and delicious in its delight.
“Cut to the Feeling” packages the thrill of desiring someone, of how invigorating it is to want to be with that someone. And it entertains possibilities, it allows you to live in the fluffy clouds of your dizziest daydreams.
This song is honest. She sings “I want some satisfaction” and isn’t afraid to ask for it. She’s so high on the feeling she gets that she launches into her energetic chorus that we all love to scream along to. Truly a great song to blast when you’re driving home from seeing the person you like, windows down, and a few pedestrians judging you as you drive past.
7. When your crush makes you feel starry-eyed and like you’re ready to (cheesily) run off with them – Run Away with Me
The very beginning of this song is already enough to give you goosebumps with the blaring saxophone amping up the energy from the get-go. It’s a song that’s weirdly familiar–like you’re sure you’ve heard it before you even heard it. Tender but still very upbeat, it conveys the idea that this person, whoever they are, is “the one” and, in typical overly-romantic fashion, you’re ready to lay it all down on the line (but responsibly!).
It’s an invitation. After that moment of clarity where you realize that you’d rather spend a night out driving with this person than attending a party, you ask this person: “Run away with me.” It is earnest and it’s a great way of showing how it feels to know someone whose presence is a constant comfort and you prefer to be with them doing mundane things rather than without.
Though pretty similar to the previous song, it has a slightly different idea governing it. Where “Cut to the Feeling” is whimsical and probably the highest high you’ll feel when you think of that person, “Run Away with Me” is a little more tender and more honest. It’s had time to simmer in its desire. “Run Away with Me” risks a little more, is a little more daring, and possibly a little more sure of just how much they like someone and what they’re willing to do.
6. When you enjoy being around them and want just a few more minutes – Let’s Get Lost
This is the song for when things quiet a little and the initial high is coming down but the way that person smiles is still so heady to you. It’s more grounded, a little quieter, and not as high-energy as the two previous songs, but it still packs a punch.
Here, she’s more reflexive of herself and her actions (“I was never one to want to / put my trust in someone else completely”) but knows that, with this other person, she’s seeing herself become a little more confident. Instead of living in dreams and fantasies, she’s watching in real time how she’s slowly breaking away from her shyness.
It’s also interesting and sweet how she’s hoping that they take a little longer on the road. The setting isn’t a dinner between the two of them or any other usual “romantic” backdrop, it’s a drive home, those last few minutes together before parting. And she’s holding onto those last few minutes, hoping that a longer route will buy them more time together.
There is more hope here, a little more clinging to the idea that there could be something (“Keeping my fingers crossed”). It’s earnest and familiar–we all hope to milk the last few moments together, and that the other person wants to extend time together, too.
5. When your feelings get serious but you’re super unsure and you just want to be with them – Gimmie Love
This is where things take a turn and it begins to feel uneasy. It’s like a see-saw–am I hopeful? Am I in over my head? You find yourself subtweeting at 3 in the morning saying things like “can you stop being cute it’s ruining my life” because it’s a mix of a strange ache and exhilaration still. At this point, you’re so into the person that you’re hoping with all your being that they like you back.
“Gimmie Love” is pretty straightforward. If the chorus that pleads “gimmie love” 24 times each time it loops isn’t enough to convince you, think about the lyrics “Drove by your place and stopped again tonight / I know I said that I’m too scared to try / But I still think about you, think about you.” Fear or worry begins here. This song is for that feeling you get when you’re not quite ready to beg for love but you’re not averse to dropping hints and spending a little more time trying to fall asleep, trying to dispel thoughts.
This is the combination of moping and hoping. It’s a weird spot to be in, but one that has us more aware of our actions and interactions with that person. We’re so invested that we’re just hoping they like us back. At this point, when interacting with our crushes, the chorus of this song plays on loop.
4. When you’re bitter about your crush never liking you back – Your Type
This song is blunt and unapologetic. If “I know I’m just a friend to you / That I will never get to call you mine / But I still love you, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I love you” isn’t enough to get the message across, maybe highlight the lyrics just a little more (and then maybe underline them). It’s pretty easy to understand, but maybe just play it subtly rather than send it to them directly (as someone who’s put this in a mixtape for a past crush… bad move).
This song still resembles the others in E•MO•TION in terms of how upbeat it is but it definitely cuts a little deeper. It’s desperate and it’s not afraid to communicate its desperation. The lyrics “And I’d break all the rules for you / Break my heart and start again / I’m not the type of girl you call more than a friend” are not playing around. This persona is ready to get hurt all over again and irresponsibly go against the grain, all for this person even though she knows that they don’t love them romantically.
It’s a song that aches. And you will ache along with it. And you’ll play it just one more time (read: ten more times) to be able to cry along. This song is for when you are hurting and still stubborn, when you want to cry about not being their choice. It’s okay. I feel you. (I’m not crying.)
3. When you acknowledge that your feelings will not be reciprocated – Love Me Like That
This song is almost accusatory: “You don’t love me like that.” And reaching this stage in a crush is probably one of the most tear-inducing. It can often come as a moment that strikes you immediately and forcefully. Sometimes, it’s a slow burn that eats at you until you have to admit that the reason they aren’t speaking to you is that they’re not into you.
This part is awful to admit. Because, after your friends teasing you all the time and encouraging you to make a move (which sometimes reinforced the idea that hey, maybe they like me back), it’s simply just that they don’t love you like that.
It’s almost angry, perfect for when you want an anthem for your anger at your unreciprocated feelings (But make sure you don’t take your anger out on that person, don’t forget that it’s not their fault!). When you’re crying into a friend’s shoulder and angrily shouting about why they won’t love you, you can let this play in the background.
2. When you know you’re hung up on them and it hurts – Fever
“Don’t break my heart tonight,” she pleas and you echo it while teary-eyed. There’s a heartbreaking but relatively calm resignation that comes with realizing that you may have feelings for someone who just doesn’t return them. “You wanna break my heart, alright / I caught your fever, I’ll be feeling it forever” conveys that, fine, you can hurt me–but you’re still on my mind. Ouch.
It’s a giving in and you’re admitting to yourself that, yes, you like them. And now it’s an ache. Instead of smiling when you hear about them from stories or see one of their tweets on your timeline, it turns into dread in your stomach of not being cared for back. You understand that you’re not entitled to this person’s feelings, but it sucks to be so enamored and they won’t even turn your way.
In a way, you may have already dreamed a future with this person and this obvious non-reciprocation sort of destroys those possibilities and now you’re left feeling a little lost and disoriented. The reality in your mind doesn’t meet the reality in front of you and that disparity is jarring. It’s like you’re holding onto someone that isn’t even extending their hand to you.
The most painful part of this song, in my opinion, is “And my lights stay up, but your city sleeps”–the persona is awake, plagued with feelings, but their object of affection sleeps peacefully. They are unfazed. And the fact that they aren’t burdened with these distressing feelings but you are probably crushed by them (hence the word “crush”) might be the part that hurts the most.
1. The triumph you feel when you’re done crying and want to move on – Tonight I’m Getting Over You
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of feeling bad for yourself about your crush, you have emerged. Not unscathed, definitely, but with a little more wisdom. It doesn’t feel wonderful immediately, there are days it can still feel terrible, but somehow you have taken your mind off of them and now on other things.
It’s a feeling of triumph–like you’ve become victorious over your own emotions and risen to the top. This song, energetic but still vulnerable, speaks of a persona that has decided that she’s done with the tears. And even though she’s still prone and a little melancholic, she wants to step away from her hurt and find joy again.
“No more crying, to get me through / I keep dancing ’til the morning with somebody new / Tonight I’m getting over you” are lyrics that empower, that encourage. There is strength in you left. It’s a salute to what happened, to the person you admired, and how you are finally leaving those things behind.
The fact that the beat quiets down in the last chorus and lets her sing practically unaccompanied exudes a kind of pride. She’s proud of herself for getting there, to that point. Even though she sounds a little pained, she’s come a long way. And so can we. We may not be able to forget and let go of the negative we had, but we can take it along with the positive, learn, and move forward. Let’s dust ourselves off and keep going–Carly Rae’s definitely got a song for us to play as we do it.
What are your favorite Carly Rae Jepsen songs? Let us know!