No. 30: Ida Maria, “Oh My God”

It was all the way back in March that I first heard Ida Maria’s “Oh My God,” a twitchy, deceptively simple track from a be-banged Norwegian woman who was pleading with her audience to find a cure for her life, put a price on her soul, and build a fortress around her heart. The track walked the line between “nervy” and “nervous” in such a way that it perfectly captured the zeitgeist of 2008, a year that was marked by near-crippling anxiety emanating from even the most bravado-filled corners.

I’ve played this track countless times since first pushing “play” on the YouTube embed sent to me by someone who knows my musical leanings pretty well, and its tension hasn’t let up one bit; if anything, it’s been heightened by the yoked-dog syndrome afflicting nearly anyone who’s around a computer too much.

It’s probably also notable that the song has sometimes been performed as a duet, with a male seconding Ida’s pleas:

Somehow the track loses its urgency when its vocals are shared, though; the male voice adds a sense of pity to the proceedings, like the dude is hawking her insecurity for his own game. The whole point of the song, after all—as exhibited by the yelped “oh my Gods” that, over and over, close out the track over a blaze of guitars collapsing from exhaustion—is that the cure Ida’s looking for isn’t necessarily readily available, or at least not something that can last for longer than the 3:21 of catharsis this song provides.

Oh My God (official video) [YouTube]
Ida Maria [MySpace]
80 ’08 (and heartbreak)

  • kicking222

    As I consider this my favorite song (from my favorite album) of the year, I’m certainly happy to see this mentioned. Good write-up, Maura- I completely agree about the shared vocals, too. This actually reminds me of the Time write-up for their best songs of the year… the song isn’t great for its content, but for her booming voice and how she uses it.

  • brasstax

    The penultimate “oh my god” when she just lets go of her voice to do whatever it’s capable of doing is my favorite thing in all of musicland this whole year. A better single you will not find.

  • MayhemintheHood

    This only made number 30?

  • Anonymous

    I love it- great, delirious, rave-up (although it did take a second listen for me to warm up to it). And now I want more!

  • kicking222

    I was just thinking about it… how much would I have to pay to get, for one day, the site to change its name, logo, etc. to IDAlator? Because while it would be totally not worth it, it would still be totally awesome.

  • soundbitesnyc

    the duet aspect of the song was on the demo version of the song that was floating around in 2007… and that how they did it when she played cmj ’07. but i like it better with her alone too.