'Chapter 2' EP

Album review of 'Chapter 2' by girl in red
'Chapter 2' by girl in red

Our Rating

7

With so many ways to get music out to people these days, it’s amazing that some artists manage to rise above the din of the millions of bands hustling to get their music out there. One of the instances where the cream rose to the top was Norway’s Marie Ulven aka girl in red. The twenty year old singer started releasing tracks to her SoundCloud and within no time at all had amassed a solid base of rabid fans wanting to hear more of the singer/songwriters brand of moody, dreamy pop music and with the release of her new EP, Chapter 2, it’s easy to see why.

The record immediately catches you with “While You Sleep”. All double tracked vocals and arpeggiated guitar. It’s a sweet love ballad balanced with just the right amount of tension. When the band kicks in at the tail end of the song and Ulven’s vocals twist away, the track has become quite the captivating opener. “Need To Be Alone” kicks things up a bit, capturing an almost Slumberland-esque dream pop vibe a la Allo Darlin. When Ulven sings “I Need To Be Alone, Or I’m Gonna Lose My Shit” over handclaps and a double time shaker in the middle chorus it should have you pretty hooked. There’s a definite Elliot Smith feel to the records recording, with Ulven’s double tracked, slightly off kilter vocals. Unlike Smith’s earlier recordings, girl in red, takes advantage of what you can do with self recording, it’s a more assured style of producing. Bigger and fuller but never detracting from the songwriting. “Dead Girl In The Pool’ is all frenetic energy. Quickly strummed guitars highlight the story of finding exactly what the title says. It’s a fun diversion from the rest of the album, displaying a nice diversity on the part of the young singer/songwriter. “I’ll Die Anyway” is a marvellously poppy existential crisis. When Ulven sings, “I reach for me but I’m not there, I always wonder why I’m here. It’s fine, it’s OK. I’ll die anyway.” It shows how much of a great grasp Ulven has on her craft. It’s emotionally pithy and quite poppy all at the same time. The album closes with “Bad Idea” a little slice of heavy pop heaven that bares some similarities to Peter, Bjorn and John.

Girl In Red’s Chapter 2 is a quick but multi dimensional display of Ulven’s inherent talent. Throughout the five tracks, it shows a maturity, lyrically and musically that are above and beyond her youth. It’s a great follow up to her debut EP, aptly titled Chapter 1, and a reintroduction to a stellar artist, one that we should be hearing a ton more from in the future.

review by Adam Fink

girl in red
Live Dates

9.7 The Foundry Philadelphia
9.9. U St. Music Hall Washington, D.C.
9.10 Brighton Music Hall Boston, MA
9.12 Ministere Montreal
9.13 Hard Luck Bar Toronto
9.14 Deluxx Fluxx Detroit
9.16 Lincoln Hall Chicago
9.19 Lost Lake Denver
9.20 In The Venue Salt Lake City
9.22 Holocene Portland
9.23 Crocodile Seattle
9.25 Great American Music Hall San Francisco
9.27 Voodoo Room San Diego
9.28 Constellation Room Santa Ana
9.29 Teragram Ballroom Los Angeles
10.28 Dublin Academy Green Room Ireland
10.29 Electric Ballroom London
10.30 La Gaîté Lyrique Paris
11.3 Luxor Cologne
11.4 Melkwed Oude Zaal Amsterdam NL
11.6 Trix Club Antwerp BE
11.8 Iceland Airwaves Festival Iceland
11.11 Debaser Bar Brooklyn Stockholhm SE
11.12 Lille Vega, Copenhagen DK
11.13 Musik & Frieden Berlin
11.16 Sonic Visions Festival Luxembourg
12.5 Parkteatret Oslo
12.6 Tyven Trondheim
12.13 Tou Stavanger
12.14 Underlig Bergen