By Olivia Espinoza
Girl in Red (Marie Ulven), released her debut indie rock album filled with bold vulnerability. After writing the 2018 indie hits, “we fell in love in october” and “i wanna be your girlfriend” (many titles are stylized in all lowercase), the Norewiegen singer-songwriter transitioned to a heavier listening experience. The title of the album, “if i could make it go quiet,” refers to how much she seeks calm in all of the chaos young-adulthood brings. From the candid lyrics to the heavy instrumentals, the listener feels like they are in the mind of Girl in Red.
After releasing a series of queer anthems, Girl in Red gained a symbolic status in the LGBTQ+ community. Her rise to fame has allowed the jokingly coded question, “do you listen to girl in red?” to help specify where someone lies on the sexuality spectrum. “If i could make it go quiet” proves she can exhibit versatility in her music, while backing up her symbolic status.
The release of her first album was done through her own World in Red label on Friday April 30, after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though she produces her own music, this album had additional production from Matias Tellez and Finneas O’Connell.
A couple songs on the record aren’t very memorable. The track “Apartment 402” falls flat, for instance. However, the rest of the tracks on the record hold enough weight to keep those songs from dragging the album with them.
The first song of the album “Serotonin,” gives the listener pop-punk instrumentals representing the environment she feels trapped in, while her lyrics seek tranquility despite battling with intrusive thoughts. The pair compliment each other and allow a refreshingly direct opening of the album.
“This song has no filter, I’m just pouring it all out in one song. I wrote the entire song and I’m proud of that because lyrically and everything is just super dope,” Girl in Red said to Apple Music.
As the record continues, some explicitly honest songs hit the tracklist, allowing the listener to truly get a sense of Girl in Red’s personality, while also relaying the message that young-adulthood is filled with puzzling relationships. The heavy punk-rock instrumentals are still prevalent in these tracks and help amplify the message’s purpose.
One track that stands out from the rest is “Body and Mind.” This track held more vulnerability since the instrumentals didn’t hold the most importance; allowing the listener to engage more with the lyrics. She opens up about how learning about the separation between body and mind helped start her mental health journey.
The final track, “it would feel like this,” completes the record gracefully, while answering the album title. From the hectic punk instrumentals to the whimsical piano keys in the final song, you truly understand her struggles tolerating the chaos and seeking peace. “If I could make it go quiet,” keeps the listener on the edge throughout the album wondering where Girl in Red will take you next on her journey of self-discovery.