‘if i could make it go quiet’, the long-expected debut album of girl in red, the music project of the Norwegian Marie Ulven treats us with fresh sounding templates, which would not have been created if it were not for the current pandemic. The singer-songwriter and record producer is known for her indie and bedroom pop music with previous hits like ‘i wanna be your girlfriend’ and ‘we fell in love in october’.
Her latest release ‘if i could make it go quiet’ is versatile. Throughout the record, you can feel that the indie-pop sensation is experimenting with different sounds and influences. All the while keeping the recognisable mixture of girl in red’s genre-bending sound. It immerses you in a 33-minute-long ride that transpires her emotions through means of catalytic realism and fore long dreaming. The wanting of silencing her thought patterns and the ever-growing mental noise that gets stuck in her head is clear in the 22-year-old’s music and she allows us to be fragile and honest together with her.
The album starts with the lead single ‘Serotonin’ that opens the record as an explosive song about mental health, intrusive thoughts, and treatment that indicates dark anxieties with lyrics like “I’ve got intrusive thoughts / like cutting my hands off / like jumping in front of a bus”, and although the apparent dark nature the track is a strong opener filled with playful guitar riffs, hip-hop passages, and a catchy chorus.
In the song, ‘Body And Mind’, girl in red expresses mental fatigue and vulnerability with catchy and loud synths. Just like in ‘Apartment 402’ and ‘Rue’, one of the album’s mainly discussed themes are mental health issues which are expressed with coherent sounds resulting in outstanding energy boosts.
Ulven illustrates sexual desire and desperation in ‘hornylovesickmess’, a ballad where she sings about fame, touring fatigue, loneliness, and (surprisingly) horniness. “Honey, I’m not doing so well” reverberates in ‘Midnight Love’ which was already released in April 2020 and speaks to the downside of love. This perception is intensified in ‘.’, with a familiar girl in red acoustic sound that shares feelings of true heartbreak.
‘I’ll Call You Mine’ goes against the grain off the album with its happy nature. With the wide reach of girl in red’s voice in the chorus, the song sounds like a pop hit that takes you back to the warmth of summer, capturing the feeling of romance with emotions of happiness, joy, and positivity.
girl in red closes the album with the outro ‘it would feel like this’, an interlude of a melodic piano piece and dramatic strings with the sound of ‘90s indie-rock that succeeds in answering the album title ‘if i could make it go quiet’.
‘if i could make it go quiet’ is a loaded but thoughtful album in which even heavy themes are able of being discussed. The sound of girl in red is refreshing and deepens you into a world of her dark and constant thoughts, stress, and anxiety, but also provides you with a side of love, joy, and happiness.
Written by: Jamina Roobrouck