Sabrina Carpenter is high on life in her new single

Photo courtesy of Justin Higuchi, Wikipedia.

After a month and a half of anticipation, pop singer-songwriter Sabrina Carpenter released her latest single “Fast Times” on Feb. 18. Living up to the title, “Fast Times” is an upbeat and dance-friendly song about falling in love quickly and living life to the fullest. With the percussion setting a steady beat and the urgent piano chords guiding the verses, it’d be difficult for any listener to resist moving along with it.

“Fast Times” marks Carpenter’s first release in almost six months since her previous single, the more lowkey, acoustic “Skinny Dipping,” which was released in September 2021.

Contrary to her feelings shown in this song, where she expresses that she has no patience, Carpenter has no problem leaving her fans waiting. Since early January, she has been dropping announcements and teasers for the song during her talk show interviews and on social media.

However, “Fast Times” was definitely worth the wait. With its retro, groovy melody and angelic backing harmonies on the chorus, Carpenter has proven that she still has what it takes to be a powerful force in pop music. 

The stand-out part of the song is the bridge, which, while lyrically simple, has a distorted guitar solo underscored by more harmonies that makes it sonically interesting and elevates the song to a new level.

A music video accompanied the release of the single, which begins as a continuation of the “Skinny Dipping” music video. The latter music video hinted at the next single, showing Carpenter riding in on a red motorcycle, wearing a matching monochromatic red outfit. 

The “Fast Times” music video, directed by Carpenter’s long-time collaborator Amber Park, depicts Carpenter on an intense heist. She starts in an all-black disguise, including dark sunglasses and a black wig, while carrying a briefcase and physically fighting off her pursuers on the streets of a city.

It then transitions to show her in an all-pink outfit in the headquarters, where she and her backup dancers wear outfits reminiscent of Britney Spears’ late ‘90s style. As the video ends, Carpenter wears a bedazzled bodysuit while dodging laser beams to steal back the briefcase. The subject matter depicted in the music video is colorful, entertaining and fitting of the lyrics and fast-paced melody of the song.

To hype up the single with fans, Carpenter created a private Instagram account with the handle @brinagirl99, which she advertised in an Instagram post on her main account in February. She used this account to share exclusive announcements and content regarding the single.

This is not the first time that she has used creative promotion to excite fans for her new releases. During the release of “Skinny Dipping,” Carpenter began an email campaign, sending hints and notes to fans on her mailing list. 

She later used the mailing list to share music, including an email titled “Intro” where she shared a black-and-white video of her singing an unreleased piano ballad. This caused fans to speculate that the emails may be hinting at her next album. 

While there is still no official news about an album yet, her fans eagerly await it. With the release of “Skinny Dipping” and “Fast Times,” and the connection between the music videos, there is no doubt that these singles are leading a larger project, which would be her first under record label, Island Records.

It is difficult to tell what the vibe of her next album will be, but after hearing “Fast Times,” it is clear that the album will be her most vulnerable piece of work yet with some smashing pop hits. “Fast Times” is a powerhouse of a song, affirming Carpenter her spot as a pop star. 

 

5/5 stars

 

rgatherc@ramapo.edu