Photo: Fabian Fjeldvik
Marie Ulven, more popularly known as girl in red, speaks to a unique gen Z mentality. The Norwegian artist found her start writing and producing unapologetic music about the trials and joys of young LGBT love, seasonal depression, and the rush of discovering yourself. These home-recorded songs soon developed her a devoted fanbase, sold-out shows across the world, and now lead her to "midnight love."
"midnight love" is a noted evolution for girl in red. Written from the perspective of the person suffering, Ulven opts for a more subtle approach to impactful songwriting. There is a marked maturity to the piano-driven affair, finding a palpable power in the notes left to hang in the air.
As the minimalistic production eventually swells, so does Ulven's conviction. "I can't be your midnight love / When your silver is my gold / I can't be your second best / Close but not your favorite," she delivers to the heavens in a verse that is equal parts liberating and transcendent. Three three-minute offering is nothing short of cathartic. girl in red spoke further what is arguably her most intimate single to date, sharing,
"'midnight love' feels like my best work so far. its my first song with a piano, but the approach of writing it was a bit different than usual too. even though i'm singing from my perspective, as the 'victim', in real life it was actually me who was ''bad guy.' a close friend was treated the same way i had treated someone else. like, this dude would text her at night to see if they could meet up, and it kind of gave her false hope that they could be something more, so she always would say yes and be there for him. seeing that so up close gave me some perspective and i realized that my situation was very similar. so this song is pretty much me reflecting on how small i've made someone else feel. even though i never meant be a dick, i was. we met up recently after she heard the song and i apologized. i think she forgave me."
girl in red is an artist who has built her budding career on the rapturous fusion of bedroom pop and indie rock, and "midnight love" feels like a critical turning point. A turning point that has the potential to establish girl in red as a generation-defining artist.
Listen to "midnight love" below: