The Norwegian 23-year-old has got intimidating amounts of spunk, too much for her own good one might assume, for her own health at least; for she has a tendency towards on-stage injuries. But in music there can never be too much spunk of course, and Ida Maria’s undomesticated spirit infuses her songs with a youthful top-fuel kind of energy that sets it apart from even the most malcontent punk. However, all the energy is held in place, one could say, by exquisite musical mastery, and it is this that makes Ida Maria so unique: Autodidact and with a unredeemable sense of adventure she still knows perfectly well what she is doing; her instrumental mastery and vocal control is rare, and thus her performance oscillates between raw burst and eerie subtleties. She has equal amounts of Iggy pop and Ricky Lee Jones in her, and a lot more which is just her own. Most of all her songs are incredibly catchy: like a Bolli Stoli she mixes perfect sparkle with hard liquor, and nothing puts a smile on people’s faces like such a cocktail.
Her demeanour, her lyrics and her songs; it all bears witness of a person both more seasoned than her twenty three years and at the same time even younger; more shifty and unpredictable. She sings of tensions and of releases, of violence and of steam under preassure. She’s very far from your stereotypical young female singer-songwriter, and relates with a shrug that she feels much more at home in a “masculine” musical paradigm than in some world of soothing, feel-better gentleness.
Oh my God! she cry-roars on her debut single, and that’s exactly how most people respond to this artists: she’s just such an overwhelming surprise, and she’s blown Norway off its feet. Q Magazine has fallen for Ida Maria too and describes her and the single as “The Strokes fronted by Bjørk.”
‘Oh my God’ is out now in the UK and cool-clever Britannia is in for a shot of impossibly invigorating, north-Norwegian adrenalin. sd
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