One year, ten thousand bad moments, Sabrina Carpenter sings in the opening line of her latest song “Vicious.” She’s setting the scene, building the emotion. But it was dressed up in heated emotion / And I tried to look for the best in the worst/ But like, fuck me, that caused a commotion.
“Vicious” is a slow-played, powerful pop anthem about an ex who has deeply wronged Carpenter.
“Sonically, you’re able to hear me really closely, and it’s almost like I’m narrating the story to you,” Carpenter said. “This song is really narrative and personal. It’s as if I’m having a conversation. We’ve all had experiences with people we love so deeply who turn out to be different than we thought they were. It’s a really painful realization to come to terms with. A lot of times, we focus on the other side of the healing process and fail to own up to uncomfortable feelings like anger and resentment. I don’t touch on that side of myself too often, but it’s a huge part of my story over the past couple of years, so I thought it was important to start there on ‘Vicious’.”
If you remember, Carpenter was rumored to be “that blonde girl” in Olivia Rodrigo’s 2021 hit song “drivers license.” The chaos that swirled around Carpenter, Rodrigo, and the supposed male interest (actor Joshua Bassett) during this time was certainly emotionally charged and could have inspired Carpenter’s songwriting. (Check out Carpenter’s 2021 song “Skin” for an example.)
Despite the earlier drama, though, Carpenter continued to sharpen her craft. And now, the singer/songwriter is set to release her fifth full-length album, Emails I Can’t Send, on July 15. You can pre-order Emails I Can’t Send HERE and listen to “Vicious” below.
Photo Credit: Vince Aung / The Oriel