Tug of War image

Tug of War

2011, 10 tracks, 31 mins 30 sec


Apr 26, 2019

Tug Of War: The Hidden Folk-Pop Gem Of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Past

Before “Call Me Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen actually did exist. Crazy, right? Some people know she was on Canadian Idol for half a second, but many people don’t know that she actually released an album right after that in 2008, before she ever became a pop star. This album was a little ten-song record titled Tug of War, written almost entirely by Jepsen herself and produced by Vancouver-based songwriter and producer Ryan Stewart. Tug of War wasn’t exactly a commercial success: the album has only sold about 10,000 copies. Singles “Tug of War” and “Bucket” had moderate success on the Canadian charts, peaking at 36 and 32 respectively, with the title track even getting to No. 6 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart. But none of it was enough to launch her career in the way her team might have hoped, resulting in the complete rebrand with “Call Me Maybe” four years later, which we all know was a success. In recent years, Jepsen has become known for her unapologetic bubble-gum pop and her complete embrace of the 80’s inspired synth-pop sound. EMOTION has become a kind of cult favourite: little commercial success, but critical acclaim and intense worshiping by a particular pop-music community. She’s now releasing her fourth studio album Dedicated next month, which also easily falls in the bubble-gum pop genre. But even though she’s solidified her place in pop music, it’s important to take a look back to the past, before she was truly ‘Carly Rae Jepsen.’ Jepsen’s first record, Tug of War, meshes pop, folk and a little bit of country to create a cute little introduction to Jepsen’s song-writing and the inner workings of her mind.




Album Info

"Tug of War"


  • Jun 14, 2011


  • Pop


  • MapleMusic, Fontana North


  • Ryan Stewart


Tug of War is the debut album by Canadian singer-songwriter Carly Rae Jepsen who came in third on the fifth season of Canadian Idol. The album is produced by Canadian record producer and songwriter Ryan Stewart. Initially the album was limitedly released in Canada on the independent MapleMusic Recordings label via Fontana North on September 30, 2008. However, it was subsequently given a mainstream release by Canadian label 604 Records, following Jepsen's signing to the label in 2011, including a digital release on the iTunes Store of the United States on June 14. In 2013, the album was released on CD in the United States, through distribution from Alliance Entertainment. In July 2015, the album was released on vinyl in Europe.
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