B-Sides: Ida Maria Likes You Better Naked

 

 

Ida Maria Sivertsen may not have won a Nobel Prize this week, but she is one more good reason to pay attention to what comes out of Stockholm. Ida, pronounced (ee-da) was born and raised in a small Norwegian village with a population of less than 2,000. In 2007 she packed up and headed to Sweden. Since then, she has made it onto the Top 20 charts in the UK and is infiltrating the US through a series of small shows, singles on iTunes, Gossip Girl, Perez Hilton and unbelievably cool YouTube videos.

 


On her Web site Maria compares herself to the Norse warrior maiden Freya, whom she calls: "a force of nature, a goddess of love, fertility and sexual desire who led the Valkyries into battle, a fearless fighter who, paradoxically, has a passion for romantic music and flowers." When you listen to Maria's debut albums Fortress Round my Heart, these dichotomies begin to make sense. From bouncy, hand clapping, punk-esque beats to the soulful and sad, these 10 tracks are perfect for a road trip, a house party or an all-night study session.
Maria's biggest hit single so far, "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked", is a response to what she sees as the objectification of women's bodies in the world of music and pop culture. While the message comes through loud (I mean, really loud) it is so coated in sugar gloss that it's quite possible to lose the point she's making. Don't be completely fooled though, there's something serious being said about naked men (it's possible) underneath all those cotton candy beats.
Maria says she writes her songs to speak directly to women, saying she feels like there's enough music out there about men, for men, to men, on men…. As Maria lays it out, it's about time an album hit the shelves that addresses the pressures women feel to look good all the time and to endure the attention and judgment of the world. You can decide for yourself if her response, to turn the table and ask for a gender-fied balance of judgement and objectification, is a useful tactic.
Useful or not, it sure is fun to listen to.
In citing a lack of female voices in the music industry, Maria makes her mission clear: "I've been a girl all of my life and I've been looking for music that is made for girls, performed by girls and that talks about girl issues. It's just not enough of it out there." (Keep in mind the English is not her first language).
So, to all of us who have been girls "our whole life" here's to musical conversations and those we love better when they're naked.

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Comments

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Ida rocks.

Saw her at Lollapalooza and she was excellent. Two of my guy friends who I dragged to her stage were blown away at her energy and talent, and they are HUGE music people who are hard to please. I'm glad she pulled out of the Perez Hilton tour, as her fan base did not seem to enjoy that affiliation.

Make sure you see her live if she comes to a town near you!

I've had tickets to Ida

I've had tickets to Ida Marie shows twice now. She showed up zero of those times. Disrepectful! Go see her live at your own risk!

fantastic.

Hurrah Ida Maria! Fortress Round My Heart is one of my favorite albums of the last couple years. Fun to sing along to, fun to dance along to. "Queen of the World" is especially great for a huge rocking out sing-a-long, in my opinion.

I caught her show in Portland a few months back and was digging the energy she and the band were putting out, even though I have to say that the crowd was disappointingly low key.