Ida Maria: Neurosis Meets Sass In 'Naked'

Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked"
  • Artist: Ida Maria
  • CD: Fortress Round My Heart
  • Genre: Pop
Ida Maria 300

In "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked," Ida Maria wears her heart on her sleeve, but prefers to wear nothing at all. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist

Long before the U.S. release of Fortress Round My Heart, Ida Maria Sivertsen was an indie-rock It Girl overseas and on music blogs here. By the end of 2009, "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" may well be overexposed. But until then, it's best to enjoy it as a likable slab of garage-pop that's both confessional and bloody-good fun — a song where the singer wears her heart on her sleeve, but prefers to wear nothing at all.

Born in Norway and based in Stockholm, Sivertsen is a budding sensation in Europe, thanks to a debut that sounds a bit like a spunkier Beth Orton fronting The Strokes. Lyrically, she manages a workable mix of neurosis and sass, an emotional push-pull that's particularly apparent on "Naked." The basic premise: Sivertsen has been hanging out with a "kinda sexy" guy, and wants to seem coolly detached. But anxiety gets in the way, dissipating only when the couple is in bed. Between the deep-feeling lyrics, the rousing chorus (the title, delivered in shout-along form) and her band's caffeinated groove, "Naked" fuses a sugar rush with the heady swirl of wrongheaded romance. Tell your friends before they tell you.

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This story originally ran on Dec. 17, 2008.

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