Release Date: Apr 30, 2021
Record label: World in Red
Marie Ulven, otherwise known as Girl In Red, has been building up quite the reputation over the last few years. Her early Soundcloud demos generated the kind of buzz reminiscent of Lily Allen and Kate Nash‘s days on MySpace, and her first EPs gained her a loyal following who identified with her songs about queer identity and mental health issues. So the release of If I Can Make It Go Quiet feels like a bit of an event – the advent of a new star.
This burgeoning generation of artists have mastered the art of engaging with their young fans, due to their lyrical and musical content being wonderfully - and often painfully - relatable for many. Fans were drawn to girl in red 's journaled output with songs documenting the thrill of discovering and celebrating ones sexuality, whilst mapping out the existentialism that haunts the youth. Just look to her sophomore EP Chapter 2 cut, "I'll die anyway" and you get an idea of the depths to which Ulven is willing to take her listener.
After a rocket-launch start with multiple viral songs and over a million TikTok followers, girl in red's if i could make it go quiet is a surprising yet authentically jaded debut album. The Norwegian singer forgoes the tenderness and acoustic arrangements that made her an indie pop darling in favour of riot grrrl-influenced punk stylings. It may be early in girl in red's career for a rebellious phase, but she justifies it by balancing catchy poeticism with danceable rage and brutal honesty. Sparse, rhythmic arrangements blend with her distorted, sing-song vocals to create a sound just familiar enough to keep old fans happy while embracing a new sense of maturity and earned anger.
A few years ago, a Norwegian teenager named Marie Ulven ran into a problem: She fell in love with a friend. Ulven, who had picked up the guitar a few years prior, naturally decided to write a song about it. "i wanna be your girlfriend," Ulven's first single under the name girl in red, bristles with self-confidence and desire. "I don't wanna be your friend, I wanna kiss your lips," she sang with a lovesick warble and a hearty strum.
Marie Ulven, the 22-year-old Norwegian musician behind girl in red, has had a meteoric rise over the past several years. At this point it's a well-established trajectory: a teenage songwriter builds a supreme amount of hype in indie circles with promising lo-fi bedroom pop releases before jumping into a high production debut record. Artists like Clairo, Snail Mail, and beadadoobee have all pulled it off admirably, notwithstanding the expected cries of "industry plant" that have plagued all of the above.
Pop is being re-shaped from the ground up. A new wave of bedroom auteurs are exploding rules and definitions, using streaming services as a way to circumvent traditional routes of exposure. Norway's Marie Ulven is at the forefront of this movement - as girl in red, she's released some stellar EPs, garnering a huge global audience with her stark yet infectious tales of life as a queer woman.