(World in Red/AWAL)
Marie Ulven’s debut album is a quietly confident declaration of intent that should resonate far beyond her fanbase
Youthful beginnings traditionally tend to be noisy. Over a series of standalone tracks and EPs, the Norwegian singer-songwriter Girl in Red has already produced a couple of albums’ worth of rallying anthems leavened by quiet introspection. She is typical of, but also transcends, the diaristic, self-produced bedroom pop that has become prevalent in recent years, thanks to the democratisation of the means of production that has put power in the hands of younger, more female artists.
Moshpit-ready and refreshingly direct, Marie Ulven’s songs about her sexuality (she likes girls) and mental health (up and down) have already become era-defining, to the point where “Do you listen to Girl in Red?” has become a discreet online query into someone’s orientation. In truth, Ulven’s Gen Z candour speaks to all comers, not just those who are LGBTQ+. Careening around, falling in love and out of it – this is universal, age-old song fodder, made new again by granular specifics and Ulven’s brio.
Her candour is the kind of over-sharing that comes naturally to Ulven’s cohort, plus a bit and then some