Have you ever wished there were more Emotion-era Carly Rae Jepsen? Have you ever wished, in fact, that it would come courtesy of one Elle Fanning, younger sister of Dakota Fanning, star of Neon Demon and How to Talk to Girls at Parties and The Beguiled? Well, if that's your specific niche interest, you’re in luck, because that’s exactly what Fanning’s new film, Teen Spirit is delivering: On Thursday, the second song from the movie’s soundtrack dropped—and it’s “Wildflowers,” a previously unreleased Carly Rae Jepsen song that leaked online three years ago, as Stereogum pointed out, but never got an official pressing.
The song is a burbling, synth-streaked delight, perfectly in keeping with Jepsen’s catalogue at the time but also with the other songs featured in Teen Spirit, like Fanning’s cover of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own,” the first track released from the soundtrack, and of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights,” which is featured in a recently released trailer for the film. (The trailer also promises Fanning performing music by Tegan & Sara—“I Was a Fool,” according to a recent Billboard story—Sigrid—“Don’t Kill My Vibe”—Jack Antonoff, Annie Lennox—“Little Bird”—and Orbital, though a complete tracklist for the soundtrack itself has not yet been released.) By the time the chorus hits, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for Jepsen herself.
Fanning’s character, according to the same Billboard story, was based on no pop star in particular (a familiar story…) though her narrative bears some obvious similarities to that of Dua Lipa; director Max Minghella described himself as “one of the first people on the Dua Lipa train” in an interview for the story. For research, Fanning looked to Björk, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga, watching documentaries and going to concerts.
“Wildflowers” is just one of many, many songs Carly Rae Jepsen has got in the archives; in an interview with Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio, in which she also revealed she has footage of Seal eating an entire loaf of sliced bread on her phone, she said she has some 200 unreleased songs. So… enough for a Teen Spirit sequel. And Fanning, apparently, is really ready to basically be Carly Rae Jepsen: “I feel like if I wanted to do an album now, maybe I could,” she told Billboard.