When the Norwegian artist girl in red (aka Marie Ulven) began writing and recording her own songs in her bedroom, who knew she would turn into an international superstar. Although she had written a few songs before, girl in red made it big with ‘i wanna be your girlfriend,’ which was first released on SoundCloud and Bandcamp in 2017 and later, in 2018, under AWAL Records.
Following the success, she later released a few singles including the queer anthem ‘girls,’ and blessed our ears with two EPs, chapter 1 and chapter 2. She recently released her debut album if i could make it go quiet in April 2021. If you don’t already listen to girl in red, we’ve got seven songs recommendations that will make you want more. Add these to your playlist ASAP!
As one of the singles released ahead of her album, ‘serotonin’ departs a bit from girl in red’s usual M.O. This track has pop and hip hop influences in both the driving beat and the delivery of the lyrics, plus the electric guitar adds an indie rock feel. In the choruses, however, Marie brings back her signature layered vocals bathed in reverb. We also love her honesty about mental health in the lyrics.
‘i wanna be your girlfriend’
Like we said earlier, this was girl in red’s breakout hit, but it still slaps today. ‘i wanna be your girlfriend’ is not only based on a true story, but the lyrics tell that story in a totally raw, emotionally vulnerable way. Furthermore, the minimalistic instrumentation heightens the vulnerability, giving Marie’s voice no place to hide.
‘watch you sleep’
With its slower tempo and soothing guitar, ‘watch you sleep’ is a beautiful song that showcases girl in red’s ability to craft an intimate sonic atmosphere. Its message about sharing a small moment with the one you love makes our hearts melt every time we listen. The track builds up to a final chorus that’s dreamy and filled with reverb. ‘watch you sleep’ is sure to become one of your go-to chill songs.
Again, girl in red proves she can write an absolute bop with a few instruments and just two chords. The booming choruses in ‘bad idea!’ are the kind you’ll want to blast in your room or your car as you scream the lyrics. If you listen closely to the pre-chorus, you’ll even hear how Marie snuck in a cheeky reference to ‘girls.’
She continues to amaze us with her musical dedication, and ‘midnight love’ is no exception. For this track, she learned to play the cello, and her plucked strings complemented the lush piano chords beautifully. These new sounds combined with simple non-intrusive beats created a pensive sound that will leave you hanging on her every word.
This is another one of girl in red’s O.G. songs that we still have on repeat. We’re suckers for anything 80s related, so we have major heart eyes for ‘say anything.’ On this track, Marie does what she does best. She’s got a catchy yet nostalgic melody, honest lyrics emphasized by layering multiple vocal tracks, and bedroom pop guitar sounds. Do we need to say anything more?
‘Body And Mind’
‘Body And Mind’ is another track from if i could make it go quiet that breaks girl in red’s usual mold, and we are here for it. On this one, the laid-back beat, moody bass, and various vocal effects result in a seriously addictive song we absolutely love. ‘Body And Mind’ also features the lower end of Marie’s vocal range, giving the tune some edge.
Go give your playlist a refresh with these seven songs, and tell us your favorite song in the comments below or tweet us @TheHoneyPOP. For more exciting updates on pop culture news, be sure to check us out on Instagram and Facebook.
Featured image source: Fiona Garden via NME
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Holly McDonald is a recent college graduate working as a freelance writer and editor in Phoenix, Arizona.