Sometimes people forget that rock 'n' roll isn't always supposed to be an intellectual exercise about meaningful lyrics and social commentary, but a down and dirty, sexy, raunchy, primal groove thang. The very phrase "rocking and rolling" is a euphemism for sex or dancing or it might even have a religious connotation, according to his handy-dandy Wikipedia entry. Funny, that all sounds a bit like a Prince record or maybe--if you lose the religion--the new single by Norwegian rock goddess Ida Maria.
Music lovers in the U.K. apparently agree, since the single "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" reached No. 13 there. I also dig the nod and wink to Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground with the peeling bananas in the video, which is a happy coincidence because Time magazine compared Ida to "Nico, but with an abundance rather than an absence of feeling."
Unfortunately, I've yet to see Ida (pronounced ee-dah) live, but according to reports, the artist born Børli Sivertsen is one charasmatic and wild performer. She once split her head open and bled profusely on stage after bashing her noggin into a guitar. Take that Iggy Pop! After another gig, she couldn't walk for weeks, the result of cracking her ribs during an on-stage summersault. The late Lux Interior (of the Cramps) would be proud.
As you might have guessed, Ida Maria is not some delicate flower who enjoys soothing folk-rock. In fact, it was a dose of such sounds, which she experienced at a boarding school in Bergen, Norway, that set her off on her current career path. "Erlend from Kings of Convenience had just given this solo performance at an open-mic night, him and his guitar, and it was so boring, it pissed me off," she told The Sunday Times in the U.K. "So when he went off, I sang and let it all out: the anger, the emotions."
You might recognize her song "Oh My God" from promos for Gossip Girl. It's featured alongside "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" on Fortress Round My Heart, Ida Maria's U.S. debut, which is now available digitally through Rhapsody and iTunes, and out on CD on April 14. Ida and her band--guitarist Stefan Törnby, bassist Johannes Lindberg, and drummer Olle Lundin--are touring the U.S., supporting Glasvegas, and they'll play at Coachella on April 18. Until then, watch this video of Ida performing and let me know if you like your rock 'n' roll down and dirty, too.