Appearing seemingly out of nowhere with a batch of superb pop songs full of punk-infused energy and vocals chops that Björk or Polly Jane Harvey would envy, Ida Maria became a sensation in Sweden on the basis of a number of well-reviewed live shows and some truly impressive demos. Ida Maria Sivertsen was born and raised in Nesna, a small community in Norway with a population of less than 2,000. While Ida's parents encouraged her to learn the piano, she opted to take up the guitar instead, and taught herself well enough to play local concerts at the age of 14. When she was 16, Ida moved away from home and settled in Bergen, a city in southwest Norway (her parents rejected her original plan to move to South Africa), and she began working up songs with a handful of local musicians. However, Bergen's rainy climate didn't agree with her, so she moved on to Sweden, finding a handful of simpatico musicians in Stockholm. Teaming up with guitarist Stefan Tornby, bassist Johannes Lindberg, and drummer Olle Lundin, Ida Maria began making the rounds of Swedish rock clubs, and her wildly energetic tunes and witty lyrics quickly made her a local favorite. Her debut album, Fortress Round My Heart arrived in late 2008. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi