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Ida Maria: Live at Rolling Stone

April 29, 2009 5:56 PM ET

Norway's hottest punk-rock export and Breaking artist Ida Maria recently popped by the Rolling Stone studios to perform four songs and tell Rock Daily about the stories behind a handful of tracks off her acclaimed debut, Fortress Round My Heart. In our first installment of Ida, she presents stripped-down, acoustic versions of two of her biggest singles, "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" (above) and "Keep Me Warm" (below).

" 'Keep Me Warm' and 'Naked' are both about love," Maria tells Rolling Stone. "But 'Keep Me Warm' is more about friendship." But even love songs sound tough in Maria's Nico-meets-Chrissie Hynde voice, and tales of drunken nights and one-night stands pepper her lyrics. "I had been writing songs for three days and I didn't bother to get dressed or shower, I was just sitting there in my underwear with a guitar. That was how I came up with it," she says of writing "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked. (Watch the song's official video here.)

Now that she's found success in Europe and is cracking the States, Maria finds it difficult to pen songs in her native tongue. "I've been writing a couple songs in Norwegian, but I've been writing in English most of the time, so it's very hard. I have English rhymes in my head but not rhymes in Norwegian," Maria says.

(Check out part two of Ida Maria's RS set here.)

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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