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girl in red
if i could make it go quiet Cat Caie , April 26th, 2021 08:14

The debut album by Norway's girl in red is a record to cherish and learn off by heart, finds Cat Caie

Do you listen to girl in red? Within the lesbian community, this question has become a code. A sort of magic phrase, signifying belonging – even desire. But if i could make it go quiet is more than just a symbol. Listening to it the nth time in a row, I was suddenly struck by the hidden gems of songs I hadn’t heard the first few times. Songs like ‘You Stupid Bitch’ and ‘Serotonin’ are loud, angry, and captivating, and they dominate the rest of the album. Yet, when I hit track eight, suddenly the album changed completely. My ears spiked up like a dog’s and my heart began to beat faster. I was so taken aback that whatever I had been doing came to a halt.

There is something so very uninhibited about this album. The lyrics are blatantly about intrusive thoughts, insecurities, and loss of love. Somehow, though, the music behind it is even more vulnerable than the content. A positively jarring contrast to the previous track, the subdued piano at the beginning of ‘Apartment 402’ makes for an emotive introduction and is symbiotic with the uncertainty evident in the song. There’s a nostalgia in the thudding bass and drum beat that is as evocative as the images it conjures. Summer days, lonely crowded clubs, and sleeping in late float into the forefront of my mind. It pulls on my heartstrings. Her vocals are pure and strong, almost as pristine as the afternoon sun hitting dust particles. It resounds with me in a similar way to ‘Habits (Stay High)’ by Tove Lo. Though both songs are distinct, they share an expression of longing and angst so powerful I almost want to be able to relate. The sadness that radiates from them is all-consuming and lingers long after the songs end. Encapsulated and forever trapped in anemoia.

The more I listened, the more I started to see this as a concept album. It moves from anger to sadness, mirroring an evolution of emotions. Within this, it seems that girl in red matures and grows from the loss of an idealised girlfriend. The intensity in which I have vicariously experienced this progression throughout the album has been cathartic and moreish. This is an album that screams to be listened to in every imaginable scenario. Whether that be passionately bellowing out the lyrics in the shower, dancing to it in a party setting, or listening to it privately under the covers to keep the secret safe. I want to do them all.

Complex and sophisticated, if i could make it go quiet is one of the most enticing new albums I have heard in a long time. I cannot wait to listen to it on repeat. I’ve got to know all the lyrics for when girl in red goes on tour next year, after all.