How girl in red tapped into her mental health struggles on debut album

'This album title is about wanting to deal with that noise'

April 27, 2021

Photo credit Getty Images

As Marie Ulven, aka girl in red, is just days away from releasing her debut album, if i could make it go quiet the Norwegian singer is speaking candidly about the mental health struggles that she opens up about in her new music.

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During an interview with i-D Ulven says, “it’s about a bunch of s*** that I’ve been going through this past year.” She adds, “I’ve been having a really, really tough time struggling with my mental health and sometimes it just feels like everything is so f***ing loud — every feeling and thought takes over your entire body, all of your mind capacity. This album title is about wanting to deal with that noise and for it not to be so loud, or not to be so hard.”

Through 11-tracks on the new project, girl in red navigates her way through a range of emotions but makes sure to note that although the songs cover serious topics, they can still be bops.

For example, Ulven’s single “Serotonin,” which serves as an introduction to the new album, personifies the artist’s ability to get up close and personal with her listeners and weave the nitty-gritty details of her mental health experiences into a big, bold, and beautiful song jammed packed with twists and turns.

Honesty is one of the main points that shines throughout girl in red’s lyrics. Honesty about love, intrusive thoughts, OCD, and self-love.

“I think maybe I downplay the honesty in my lyrics sometimes?” ponders Ulven. She continues, “That I don’t realize how honest I’m actually being because I’m just like, ‘well yeah, of course, there is no other way.’ Maybe I should be more like, ‘yeah! That was good of me for being so honest!’ But I’m in that bubble all the time, so I guess I lose track? I need to start appreciating that because I have some tendencies to not think anything good about myself.”

Earlier this year Marie was diagnosed with OCD and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). The artist says that receiving the diagnosis, “just put so many pieces of the puzzle together. My entire life I’ve been so worried and so scared about absolutely everything.”

She also adds, “I’ve had so many weird hang-ups throughout my life, so getting diagnosed just made a lot of sense. I felt like it was easier to compartmentalize that part of me. Getting diagnosed with OCD made sense too. I have a lot of behavioral patterns that I’ve never actually thought of as OCD because of the way we view it — if you say ‘OCD’ people think about the need to have it clean, the need to wash every door handle. That’s one way to have it, but that’s not the only way.”

girl in red’s first studio album arrives on April 30.

Audacy's I’m Listening initiative aims to encourage those who are dealing with mental health issues to understand they are not alone. If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression or anxiety, know that someone is always there. Additionally, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-273-8255.

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