Album Review: girl in red - if i could make it go quiet

Elsa Tarring reviews the debut album from young alternative artist, girl in red.

Elsa Tarring
3rd May 2021
This 22-year-old Norwegian singer is known for her unmistakeable sounds of dreamy bedroom pop, and her first studio album, if i could make it go quiet, fits nicely into this description. What’s different with her new music, however, is that she also starts to delve into other genres, like rock and electronic, which is what makes listening to the album a truly refreshing and exhilarating experience.

For those unaware of the sounds of Marie Ulven, the woman behind girl in red, to me, her music is the kind that would play in an indie coming of age film when the mistakenly bad-tempered teen learns to embrace who they are and let go of everything they’ve been holding in.

This is undoubtedly because her intimate lyrics about sexuality and mental health resonate with fans, which, paired with her soft vocals and understated guitar, leave them feeling both heard and empowered. It’s for this reason that girl in red should be listened to alone, preferably in a soft, cosy setting, because you feel as if she’s singing her feelings to a friend, and you can’t help but feel yourself pouring out your own in return – she overshares, but then so do we. 

I’m pleased to say that if i could make it go quiet has all the same indie-pop sounds and personal lyrics from her previous singles and EPs, but I’m equally as pleased to say that there’s also experimentation into different genres, most notably rock. In songs like ‘You Stupid Bitch’, the electric guitar quickly takes centre stage, while girl in red’s vocals simultaneously compel you to hear her cries for love, creating a heavier, more intense sound.

Some songs are quintessentially girl in red, like ‘.’, one of my favourites on the album, starting relatively quietly with just vocals and acoustic guitar, then getting louder with the addition of drums and a tambourine. Others, like ‘Rue’ flit between indie - it sounds like it could be a song on Taylor Swift’s Folklore, who girl in red admits she’s a huge fan of - and rock; the song ends with fierce electric guitar and drums while she shouts, “Yeah, I tried!”.

If there’s one lyric that sums up her sound, as well as the whole album, it’s “Living in a daydream”.


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