Marie Ulven Ringheim is a Norwegian singer-songwriter known for her indie pop project girl in red. In her single “Serotonin” Ulven reveals a darker, more intimate showcase of her songwriting abilities. The song details her struggles with her mental health and grappling with a series of intrusive thoughts. The genius in girl in red’s style is that at first listen the song appears to be very positive and happy. The melancholic lyrics are juxtaposed with an upbeat and high paced sound making her music incredibly popular and palatable allowing her audience to empathize with her resonant message. The disconnect between the sound and the meaning is exemplary of how often people with depression are capable of masking their pain and appearing outwardly fine.
“I’m running low on serotonin
Chemical imbalance got me twisting things
Stabilize with medicine
There’s no depth to these feelings.
Dig deep, can’t hide
From the corners of my mind
I’m terrified of what’s inside.”
Ulven describes writing this song after beginning her journey with therapy. Starting therapy allowed her to understand her intrusive thoughts and manage them in a more effective way. She describes using songwriting as a coping mechanism. In her music she finds catharsis and spreads awareness about the reality of depression, giving voice to her wide audience.
Listen to the full song here.
Feature Image: Eric Ward, On Unsplash, Creative Commons