You know when you hear a song for the very first time, and you’re like “Oh! Well. There it is. This is clearly the best song of the year”? Like when Sky Ferreira came with “Everything Is Embarrassing“? Or when MKS dropped “Flatline” (and then vanished without a trace)? Or Sia swung in with her “Chandelier”?
Sometimes, you just know.
So, here it is. Officially: Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Run Away With Me,” the best pop song of 2015.
As I said earlier this week, Carly’s new album, E•MO•TION, is really, really the best, and will likely wind up as the best pop album of the year, too — next to Rebel Heart, anyway. (Don’t let “I Really Like You” fool you. That song was merely the cutesy bridge to this bigger, bolder new sound.)
“Run Away With Me” is that song. It’s massive — sonically speaking, lyrically speaking — all around, just plain bliss.
Who worked with Carly to make this huge? A bunch of Swedes, duh.
Specifically, Mattias Larsson and Robin Fredriksson, otherwise known as Mattman & Robin (they also did Taylor Swift’s “All You Had To Do Was Stay” and Tove Lo‘s “Moments,” among other gems) and Shellback, the superstar producer (and frequent Max Martin collaborator) responsible for co-crafting much of 1989 and Britney smashes like “I Wanna Go” and “Up N Down.”
“Run Away With Me” is next level pop, elevating her far, far past the cutesy realm of “Call Me Maybe” and her joyously sparkly Kiss into thunderous, arena-worthy territory. It’s essentially her very own edgier (yes, edgier) “Teenage Dream” or “Style”; a nostalgia-evoking, euphoric, us-against-the-world anthem made for windows down, shout-along late night drives, first kisses and triumphant rom-com endings.
From the opening ’80s sax blast alone, drowning out the noise of basic radio bops playing in the distance, you already know things are about to be very, very different this time around.
“I wanna go, get out of here, I’m sick of the party…”
The general plot? You’re out at a party. It’s super boring. They’re playing “Blurred Lines” on repeat. You’ve got to go. Out of nowhere, a hero appears in the form of a Canadian singer-songwriter, grabbing your hand and rushing you outside to her car for a spontaneous joyride. You didn’t even say goodbye to anyone! So what? Who cares? It’s dark out. It’s late. It doesn’t matter. You’re never tired when you are with her, with her.
“You make me feel like I could be driving you all night…”
Things start getting a little E•MO•TIONal. The pulse of the magical verses quickens, growing snappier and more shimmery as we drive on through the night. Eventually, Carly parks the car. There’s tension in the air.
TAKE ME TO THE FEELING. (AY!)
I’LL BE YOUR SINNER IN SECRET (AY!)
WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT. . .
My God. (AY!)
Not only is that explosive chorus the epitome of pop perfection realized, but the bridge is a masterstroke as well, as the production drops away and the world goes totally silent. A shiver-inducing “We can turn the world to gold” comes echoing out of nowhere. And then, Carly leans in and whispers directly into our ear:
“Over the weekend, we can turn the world to gold.”
Bye forever. (AY!)
Also, if this were 2002, you could bet that would be my AIM away message for weeks.
The accompanying David Kalani Larkins-directed video pretty perfectly brings the song to life, shot in a homemade DIY style that proves to be just as evocative as the song, as Carly happily twirls her way across Paris, New York and Japan — karaoke sessions, hotel room pillow fights and all.
And here’s what she had to say about it, according to the song’s press release:
“I didn’t even know we were making a music video until about halfway through it. David always has a camera in his hand and he has a way about him that makes you forget that it’s there. It became a part of our daily adventure on the road to film as we went. Promo tour can be a blur and I can remember watching over his shoulder as he uploaded the footage, recounting memories of the trip that I had almost already forgotten. This project became a way for us to slow down time and preserve the moments from magical places like Paris, New York, and Japan.”
If there’s any #JUSTICE4JEPSEN in this world, “Run Away With Me,” really, really deserves to be a #1 smash across the globe. Carly truly trumped her inescapable mega-hit (and the album’s full of equally incredible tracks, too) — it’s up to radio, and the general public, to accept that she’s more than just one hit song.
(Also, the fact that the single art looks like a poster for a Japanese ghost horror movie only makes me love it even more.)
God Bless The Jeps.