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When Girl in Red Opens Up Her Bedroom-Pop Diary Everybody Wins

Norwegian singer-songwriter Marie Ulven’s second album I’m Doing It Again Baby! is an introspective gem

Girl in Red makes bedroom pop for a worldwide bedroom. Marie Ulven was an introspective Norwegian teenager, from the small port town of Horten, when she became a cult figure with her homemade lo-fi tunes like “I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend” and “Summer Depression.” As Girl in Red, she blew up into a bona fide star with her 2021 debut album If I Could Make It Go Quiet, in deeply personal songs about struggling with mental health and embracing her queer identity. She got a lot more famous than she ever could have expected, especially with the Finneas-produced “Serotonin.” She even spent time last summer opening for her fan Taylor Swift on the Eras Tour. 

On I’m Doing It Again Baby!, Ulven picks up right where she left off, in candid synth-pop diary entries about her emotional turmoil. But now 25, Ulven has opened up her range, trying to chronicle the highs as well as the lows. She even sings about the exotic experience of a cheery mood, as if she’s describing a trip to Mars. In the opener “I’m Back,” she exults, “Hey, I took a shower today!” Sometimes it’s the little victories that count.


All over these songs, Ulven sums up the life lessons she’s picked up in the years since her debut, with her realization that “Time doesn’t stop for a sad little girl.” I’m Doing It Again Baby is as personal and vulnerable as ever, written and produced with her collaborator Matias Tellez. She’s still her same old melodramatic self, confessing, “I know I have a tendency / Melancholic tragedy always seems to follow me around.” Yet she reaches for positivity in the title song, a peppy New Order-style synth groove where she boasts, “Got the Japanese denim / and loafers on my feet / Lookin’ like a rock star from the Seventies.”

As on her debut, Girl in Red really shines when she steps up the energy level in pissed-off songs where she’s getting her heart kicked around. “Phantom Pain” rocks out with warped guitar and distorted vocals, as she chants “Let me love you if you let me” until it turns into a scarily obsessive loop. “You Need Me Now?” is a spiteful kiss-off, with an excellent guest verse from Sabrina Carpenter. Ulven really knows how to introduce a guest star, yelling, “You know what would be really fucking cool on this? Sabrina!” In the finale “*****,” she goes for Studio 54 disco glitz, singing, “Five star rating and I’m writing a hit.” But even when she’s coming on tough, Girl in Red has the same emotional honesty that made her a star in the first place.

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