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Carly Rae Jepsen Made a Dance Playlist That Could Save Your Summer

NPR asked her to make an entry for their "roséwave" series, which celebrates breezy music for the hot months. She says it's meant for a "living room dance party."

by Colin Joyce
Aug 7 2019, 1:58pm

Photo by Steve Jennings/Wireimage

Over the last few years, NPR has been outlining the borders of a loosely defined musical genre called "roséwave." It started as a Twitter joke by an editor and snowballed outward, encompassing all things breezy and lighthearted. Yacht rock? Roséwave. Saxophones? Definitely roséwave. Quiet storm? Unquestionably roséwave. The idea isn't really tied to any specific musical characteristics so much as it is a state of mind. It's any music that would sound right on a long, hot afternoon staring out at the water, sipping a drink that's slightly sweeter than you might expect it to be.

The editors of NPR's music site have been expanding the canon this year with playlists of music meant to soundtrack the summer months, but today they shared something special, a playlist from one of the quasi-genre's defining figures: Carly Rae Jepsen. In her playful neon synth work, affinity for searching melodies, and the occasional horn solo there's little pop music that's more befitting the roséwave state of mind than Jepsen's 2015 album E•MO•TION. So it's really interesting to hear exactly what interpretation of the sound is.

In an intro to the playlist, she describes it as "a bit of an odd shuffle of songs," and it does encompass a wide variety of music including road dog folk songs, soul hits, and indie rock bummer jams. But she keenly understands the roséwave mindset, picking only the most airy and playful tracks from those genres, blending them together into this wonderfully upbeat mélange. She says it's intended as a "living room dance party at mine," and it's certainly work for that—especially the passage that sidles up ROSALÍA's low key flamenco pop with Robyn's soaring "Ever Again"—but it's also suitable for the task that roséwave is best equipped for, which is ignoring your responsibilities and trying to chill in the year's hottest months.

As we approach the summer's sticky doldrums, the part where it feels like the humidity will never lift and the sun will never stop beating down on the nape of your neck, it's good to have a soundtrack to keep you cool and collected. By the time you get to the seasonally appropriate Billie Holiday song "On the Sunny Side of the Street," you might even forget how gross you felt when the playlist started. Listen up above or over at NPR's site.