girl in red is norwegian bedroom pop’s answer to avril lavigne
In just over a year Marie Ulvin has gone from virtual unknown to the raw and honest voice of Gen Z.
Photography Alexa Viscius.
Girl in Red’s new song is called I’ll Die Anyway, which is a pretty gloomy title to be honest, but it’s a deceptively upbeat track. The jingling, whimsical melody trips along while the 20-year-old singer chirps in the chorus: “I reach for me but I’m not there / It’s so lonely but who cares / It’s fine it’s okay / I’ll die anyway.” The lyrics and the beat, with shades of Avril Lavigne, are pure noughties nostalgia. It’s catchy summertime pop-rock with a hidden angsty sentimentality.
That lyrical sensitivity is what Oslo’s Girl in Red -- also known as Marie Ulvin -- has become known for. Since the release of her debut EP chapter 1 in 2018, she’s been making her mark on the industry. Her first track, I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend, was listed at number nine on The New York Times list of "The 68 Best Songs of 2018". Not too shabby. This year she’s ascended to even greater heights. A series of happy-sad releases coincided with a North American tour supporting Conan Gray.
Whether you’re new to her Scandi bedroom pop-rock stylings or already a dedicated stan, get to know Girl in Red better with our 10 fun facts.
Marie has always had big dreams of rock stardom
“I was raised in a small town in Norway called Horten. It was a very quiet and boring town to grow up in. But now I’m very grateful because if it wasn't for me being bored all the time, I don’t think I would have started to make music! So many ideas come from boredom, and I always knew I wanted to be a rock star.”
She’s an old soul (which perhaps explains all those lyrical laments)
“I’m 20 right now, and I feel 20. But at the same time, I have some serious old lady tendencies.”
Pop is not a dirty word for her. And nor should it be!
“Whenever anyone asks what kind of music I make, I always just say simply that I make pop music. Pop is such an umbrella term and I like that.”
Zooey Deschanel is her icon
“I’m re-watching New Girl right now and I love it so much. I can never stop laughing. I really relate to Jess -- she’s just this awkward and funny girl who’s all over the place.”
She’s a big believer in self-inspo
“I haven’t been mad inspired lately, but I always find inspiration in myself and my own song ideas. Like, when I think something I’ve created is really good then I just get even more eager to continue and that feels great!”
Norway has a pretty hardcore scene and Girl in Red thinks everyone should know it
“There’s this Norwegian band called Honningbarna who are known for their insane live shows. I’ve gone to so many of their shows ‘cause they’re fucking crazy. The crowd is wild and the moshpit goes hard. Once I went to one of their shows and got a nosebleed and they took me up on stage -- best gig ever.”
She gets emotional about her fans
“The thing that moves me most is the messages from people saying that my music has changed their lives.”
Despite her height, she’s anything but diminutive
“I bet there’s a whole lot of misconceptions about me out there. People are always so surprised about my height when they meet me for the first time. Or they expect me to be really quiet and shy, but I’m not at all!”
Marie’s her best self when she’s on stage
“When I’m performing, I feel invincible.”
And she knows that mums always give the best advice
“When I was young I was a real tomboy and people would pick on me because of it. It really got me down and eventually my mom said "fordi du skal ha noe å lure på", which roughly translates to: "So that they can have something to wonder about." The translation isn’t as cool, but it always made me feel more safe and secure in my identity.”
This article originally appeared on i-D UK.