I was on the internet one day and my friend Marc Nelson posted a link to a music video stating he had fallen in love with a Norwegian Pop Rocker. I checked out the video. I was immediately hooked. I think I watched the video for this song like three or four times in a row. It’s been a minute since something grabbed my attention so quickly and infectiously. I had to find out more about this sultry, bratty, lovely voice that was belting out the frantic song. I tapped my man on Facebook, asking for more and he responded that the voice and rock warfare belonged to an artists known as Ida Maria. He also stated that the CD was not available stateside but he had ordered it from a British distributor. Quickly I went to the youtube and found several more videos for this musician, I couldn’t get enough. The twisted pop and punk, glazed over with thudding bass lines, funky guitar lines and frenzied, youthful exuberance took me immediately.
The fact that this was not available to me at the fingers lurking need was pissing me off. A week or so went by and I finally caved. I used the Facebook tool to email a cousin of mine in Norway asking if he had this album. He did not, but his 16 year old geniusness sent me a link to a bit torrent. Now normally I don’t publicly condone this behavior, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The album Fortress Round My Heart will not be available stateside until April. Plus I just don’t have twenty bucks to give to the Brits for this at the moment. So thus, the sweet thrashy fun was mine. And I can’t stop listening to it.
Ida Maria is a little bratty, a little bit sweet, a little bit cute and a little bit of a disaster. She sings and howls over power driven rock music reminiscent of Joe Jackson or Elvis Costello when they were coming up. At time she sounds like a ravaged soul singer, like on the simmering ballad “Keep Me Warm” and other times she reminds me of Bjork from her Sugar Cube days, before she went totally off the charts (not that I don’t love Bjork, just sayin’). The songs are driving and each of them stumbles around tipsy, flirting innocently with disaster but never staying too close to that edge to get in to any trouble. The rousing single “Oh My God” is filled with bright, scary emotion but the fun protrudes throughout songs like “I Like You So Much Better When Your Naked” or the amusing “Louie, I Know I’m Always Drunk.” If Lily Allen was a little more of an artist, or if Kate Nash was a little less innocent they might be able to touch on the raucous good times of Ida Maria. The difference is that Ida isn’t afraid to show you the dirt under bitten fingernails, letting the energy do the magic, rather then the studio trickery.
The album is a perfect pop masterpiece. With ten songs, split in the middle and closing out with ballads, Ida Maria creates something that is so rarely done, and that’s a consistent classic album. Even the songs that don’t stand out and wow you are allowed their own space. All of the hits are perfectly placed too, the lead single starting everything off. By the time you get to the album closer, the delicately brash “See Me Through” with it’s haunting delivery of the chorus you’re pleasantly nourished.
And so, as this is essentially the equivalent of a bootleg from a major label unsure if this music is suitable to the American Market I say to you major label FUCK YOU YOU IDIOTS. Seriously, you are existing in a time of globalism, instant gratification and the eradication of boundaries and taste makers. Anything that is out there can be found, and if you aren’t willing to offer it up to the global public, well your gonna miss out on some dollars. I am hoping that the US release includes some of the other songs I have seen on the internets which will entice me to buy the album. Otherwise I am spitting right now in the face of major labels, again, for being the slow, stupid, dying dinosaurs they have been for decades.
Check out some of the videos below and get hooked on the musical crack that is IDA MARIA.