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CD of The Week

Week of 11/18/19

    girl in red - Beginnings (Self-Released)

    Beginnings is a compilation of recent EPs and singles composed and solely performed by 20-year-old Norwegian musician Marie Ulven, also known as girl in red. She has been self-producing and promoting her beautiful, melancholic bedroom pop since 2016, when she released her first single "i wanna be your girlfriend," a profoundly confessional song about loving a straight girl. In fact, much of the music here revolves around her sexuality and mental health. In "summer depression," she laments, "My worst habit is my own sadness, so I stay up all night wondering why I'm so tired all the time."

    Despite many up-tempo song structures, we tread dark waters for most of the album. On "4am" she wrestles with more stress-induced insomnia: "F**k my mind, I think too much." There are more confessions on "girls," as she explains "I should be into this guy, but it's just a waste of time, he's really not my type, I know what I like." Two of the best tracks fall in the second half of the album. "dead girl in the pool" grapples with the depths of fear and anxiety while trying to find your own identity, especially after a bender. Love addiction is at the forefront of the single "bad idea!" The desperation is clearly evident in the lyrics: "It was a bad idea calling you up, was such a bad idea, I'm totally f**ked... I can't get enough."

    Sonically she does a lot within her own space; one can imagine what she would unleash in the constructs of a proper studio. It's exciting to see the potential in someone so young and full of talent, someone who also has a lot of life and strife left to experience. When an artist can successfully connect to listeners with so much raw emotion, it is a gift. Hopefully, the gifted girl in red will keep on giving.

    Review by Dave Lindquist

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