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Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Queen Of The World

Review of Ida Maria's Fortress 'Round My Heart

Photo via MySpaceMySpaceIf I were a more paranoid person, I’d say that Norway’s Ida Maria was deliberately avoiding me. Back in March, she was a no-show for both her official SxSW showcases showcases and at almost the same time, she cut her stint as opener for Glasvegas to just a handful of dates, dropping off the tour just a couple shows before she’d have played Toronto. Maddening, right?

Getting a handle on her debut album Fortress ‘Round My Heart really isn’t any simpler. It was originally released in the UK in the Summer of 2008 on Sony and though a goodly amount of buzz was generated, the relationship between artist and label didn’t work out and she was cut loose. The record was re-released in February of this year independently with rejigged track listing and artwork and it was expected this indie version would be the one to trickle over to North America but it was instead picked up by Mercury Records and pushed back until April, when it came out over here with yet another track listing and different cover art.

It’s ironic that things should be so complicated around Ms Borli Sivertsen, because what she does is about as simple as it gets. Raw, irresistible guitar-rock with whiffs of garage and bubblegum, simultaneously anchored and buoyed by Sivertsen’s rough and giddy vocals. “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” might seem like a gimmicky tune with limited shelf life, but has hooks that go far beyond the titillating title. The rest of the album barrels along with tales of booze and bawdiness, all recounted with reckless glee only pausing for breath a couple of times. It has remarkably high re-play value, helped along by the fact that the whole thing clocks in at barely 32 minutes and offering a super sugar buzz without being saccharine-sweet.

Having already made some late-night TV appearances, garnering all kinds of attention of the right kind and now set to play Lollapalooza in August, more North American touring seems like a given. Perhaps late Summer is a reasonable assumption for her first Toronto date? After all, she can’t evade me forever.

There’s features on Ida Maria at Interview, Black Book, Elle and Canadian Press.

Video: Ida Maria – “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked”
Video: Ida Maria – “Oh My God”
Video: Ida Maria – “Stella”
MySpace: Ida Maria

This week also marks the North American release of A Camp’s second album, the strangely polarizing Colonia. Some really like it, some really dislike it. I opted for “sorta like” when I reviewed it back in February. There’s interviews with head Camp counselor Nina Persson at The Glaswegian, State, Prefix and Birmingham Mail while Black Book asks her about her favourite NYC hangouts. A Camp are at the Mod Club on June 1 and the album is streaming this week at Spinner.

MP3: A Camp – “Stronger Than Jesus” (Harlem session)
Video: A Camp – “Stronger Than Jesus”
Stream: A Camp / Colonia

Uncensored Interview has a chat on video with Emil Svanangen of Loney Dear. They’re at the Rivoli next Friday night, May 8.

Daytrotter offers up a session with Cut Off Your Hands.

There’s a couple new videos from little blonde English girls with debut albums coming out soon. Little Boots’ Hands is out June 9, Polly Scattergood’s debut self-title gets a North American release on May 19.

Video: Little Boots – “New In Town”
Video: Polly Scattergood – “Please Don’t Touch”

The Globe & Mail talks to Adele, who plays Massey Hall tonight. It was also announced that she’ll be the first artists to perform on the new incarnation of MTV Unplugged – wow, it’ll be such a relief to be able to finally hear her sing without the wall of electric guitars drowning her out.

The Sun quotes Graham Coxon as saying that the Blur reunion should cover all the band’s material – even the stuff he wasn’t a part of.

Interview talks to Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie.

Clash talks to Super Furry Animals drummer Dafydd Ieuan, Wales Online to frontman Gruff Rhys.

The Daily Growl gets Mumford & Sons to pick seven songs.

By : Frank Yang at 8:27 am
Category: General

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  1. Bruce says:

    Good take on the “Fortress” album. I like it fine, and was miffed also that the Glasvegas opening slot didn’t happen. Saw them on Leno and they were indeed a lot of fun, so their live show would be anything but boring.

    Scott Pilgrim update: For anyone interested, shooting is taking place as we speak, in my ‘hood: in Hillcrest Park (just N and W of Davenport and Christie), and on Marchmount Rd., just south off Davenport one street west the park. Follow the fake snow.