I’m sure that all of Philadelphia’s unabashed pop music fans are well aware that this Saturday, July 20th, The Fillmore will be hosting Carly Rae Jepsen, who first gained mega-notoriety with 2011 teen pop smash single “Call Me Maybe,” before going on to churn out Ptichfork-approved, synth-fueled dance pop on 2015’s Emotion and Dedicated, which dropped earlier this year. We’re certainly fans, but we’re just as, or perhaps more, excited for Phoebe Ryan, who’s opening this batch of dates. Ryan is an electropop chanteuse who’s also known for penning tunes for the likes of Melanie Martinez, Britney Spears, and All Time Low.
Earlier this week I got to chat with Phoebe Ryan from Baby’s All Right, where she was getting ready to headline POPSHOP, a dance party put on by Neon Gold Records, who put out recent singles “A Thousand Ways” and “Build Me Up.” During our chat she tells me that she’s a huge fan of the label and has felt at-home since day one… And that she’s also quite honored to be in such good company: “It’s been amazing working with them. They’re actually really good friends, so it’s been super comfortable… and I mean Caroline from Your Smith is incredible and Matt Maeson, Marina is obviously amazing…”
Phoebe Ryan’s batch of dates opening up for Jepsen begins with the Philadelphia show this Saturday and, originally hailing from Red Bank, New Jersey, I shouldn’t be surprised to hear that she has a fondness for the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection: “There are some great venues there, like Boot & Saddle, but I feel like I haven’t played Philly since 2017. My best friend lives in Philly, so I always stay with him when I’m there and we’ve definitely gone to some great restaurants and had some great food.” But she also tells me that there are some other areas of the country that she rarely gets to hit, which have her in good spirits: “I’m just excited because all the routing of the tour is through the southern states. I feel like I’m always going through the Midwest and the South always seems to get left out. My mom is from New Orleans, so I have a lot of family who’s never seen me live before, so that should be really fun.”
Considering all of the work she does with other artists, I ask Ryan if there are any artists that she’s had a surprisingly inspiring connection with and she tells me that a lot of her best collaborating has actually been with more people in her position: “It’s interesting because it’s mostly been with writers. There’ve been some incredible female writers that I’ve gotten to travel with and being with these badass women is just so inspiring.” But she tells me that recently she’s taken just a bit of a break from so much collaborating: “Lately, I’ve been so focused on my own work, which I’m so excited about,” and tells me that her set on Saturday will likely include, “a balance of the old songs I still love and the new songs I’ve been working on for a while now.” And she tells me that these new songs will be her primary focus once this tour wraps: “After these dates I’ll be back to LA and back to the album that I’ve been kind of sitting on, but I’ll be releasing singles throughout the year, while getting the production straightened out for the album.” Finally, when I ask Phoebe Ryan what’s been inspiring her, her answer is more than a little surprising, but also quite charming.
“I’ve been keeping a really open mind, as opposed to just listening to like Top 40, which it felt like I did for a while. Like, earlier today I was listening to a yacht rock station, and I was like, ‘This fucking rules. What else is out there?’ So I guess that’s been my biggest influence, everything [laughs].”