The songwriting process of Sabrina Carpenter’s new song, “Fast Times,” started with sampling a tequila bottle and playing drums with some pencils. The singer — who dropped the sexy, playful pop song and video at midnight on Friday — was chillin’ in New York with her “closest friends” Julia Michaels, J.P. Saxe and John Ryan when they co-wrote the track.
“We weren’t taking ourselves too seriously making it, which really reflects the energy of the song,” Carpenter tells Rolling Stone. Not “taking herself seriously” has also been her approach to life as she approaches 23. “[It’s] really about the feeling when you’re letting life steer the wheel and you think ‘Let me enjoy this now and I’ll process the emotional repercussions of this later,’” she explains. “[It’s] very indicative of my 20s thus far.”
The track’s Amber Park-directed music video is Carpenter’s “little dream action film.” In it, she portrays a runaway, villain-fighting bad bitch as she’s followed through the city by a helicopter. “There’s some Charlie’s Angels vibes, Kill Bill, Quentin Tarantino vibes,” she explains. “Turning fast times and fast nights into something more literal!”
Halfway through the video, after fighting off grown men, Carpenter — now sporting a sexy, pink outfit — reaches what appears to be home base: a colorful, women-led car shop-meets-gym as she and some “badass, empowering women” engage in picture-perfect choreography.
Given her background as an actress — Carpenter starred in The Hate U Give and in the Disney+ feature Clouds — she says giving her videos a cinematic twist is “something I’ve always loved to do.”
With the sensual video, and mature new lyrics (remember the Olivia Rodrigo-aimed “Skin?”), Carpenter is successfully shedding her former Disney Channel identity. After dropping the two-part EP Singular, she’s ready to deliver something deeper and more meaningful on her first album. “I think you’re a very different person at 18 than you are at 22, so I’d say expect it to feel a lot more personal,” she says. “And a lot more storytelling.”
With that not-bad-times-but-“Fast Times” mentality in mind, when asked what’s coming up for her in the new year, Carpenter dodges: “This question always stresses me out.” (Fans, there’s an album coming this year. We just don’t know when.)