Less than a year after releasing Singular: Act I and Sabrina Carpenter has already returned with Act II.
Act II, of course, follows Act I, but Carpenter exclusively tells iHeartRadio how the two are different. She explains, "I like to think of Act II as Act I kind of flipped upside down on its head, and taking all the glossy, perfected elements, and stripping them back into something a little bit more real. And that's, thematically, sometimes musically, but to me it was a way for me to continue the story, but to show a more real perspective."
She adds of the album-making process, "Initially, Singular was all one album. So, I had written it over the course of two years, but extended a little bit of time on Act II in the meantime, waiting to release that, and wanting to let Act I breathe and have its moment. And I had also gone through a lot in my life that I felt like I was changing musically, and as a person, as I released Act I and as I was touring with Act I, that there was a few things on Act II that I had to change before putting it out, and I can't wait for everyone to hear it."
Fans were introduced to Singular: Act II through Carpenter's song "Pushing 20," followed by the extremely vulnerable "Exhale." She tell us of the latter, "My song 'Exhale' happened very organically. I was writing with Ross Golan and Johan [Carlsson], two of my favorite people to write with, and we're just very close and I think of them as family, and was able to kind of release what was going on at the current time in my life without any filter. Because I thought of this song as something I would never release, so that's what made it so easy to make. I just went on the microphone and said exactly how I was feeling, and 'Exhale' was made. And then I decided that I think other people might need it as much as I do."
Along the lines of "Exhale," much of Act II is inspired by self-reflection. Sabrina explains, "I think looking inward into yourself and self-reflection was a big theme on the entire album. But, I think noticing the times where you are at your most confident, and noticing the times where you're at your lowest point, and knowing that you can have both, and knowing that there's a balance, and life isn't all about the lows, it's not all about the highs. Each of them balance each other out, and that's what makes you human, and that's what makes us all human."
While fans are listening to this new album, they will find one of Carpenter's favorites, a feel-good song called "Tell Em." She tells us, "My favorite Act II songs are the songs that are most personal to me. All of them are my children in different ways. Some of them are made for days where I wanna smile and laugh and dance, and other ones are made for days where I want to feel exactly what I need to feel. I think a song that makes me feel warm inside is a song called 'Tell Em.' It's very hard for me to write songs that are purely just loving and feel good. I feel like so much of the best emotion comes through in pain and the hard moments in life that it's harder for us to sometimes write just a happy, feel good song. And this song is definitely one of my favorites that I've ever written in that vein, and I got to have a lot of fun with it. I made it really long because I just never wanted it to end."
There is only one feature on Singular: Act II, and it is from Saweetie on an uplifting anthem called "I Can't Stop Me." Sabrina tells us of how the collaboration came about, "I was a huge fan of Saweetie, and still am. I wrote 'I Can't Stop Me' with Stargate; that was actually the first song I wrote with Stargate. So, I've had it for a while, it's been a little baby of mine sitting in a dusty e-mail thread, and I knew the song needed to be brought to life in a different way. And I really, really wanted a female collaboration, I had never gotten to do a proper female collaboration, and I thought her energy took it to another level. It's a really, really fun record, and it just makes you really hype, and it's a motto that I started to use in my own life. Originally, the song was 'I Can't Stop You,' so I think turning it into 'I Can't Stop Me' made it all the more confident, which is exactly what I wanted this album to reflect."