Alice Merton is a Canadian-born, Berlin, Germany-based singer/songwriter and pop artist, who has lived a rather nomadic life, as she was raised in Canada, finished high school in Germany and then with the rest of her family, relocated to England. Of course, music was a major part of her life, no matter where on Earth she was; she started taking classical piano lessons when she was five and by the time she was nine, she was introduced to vocal training. As the story goes, after spending the better part of a decade being classically trained, Merton discovered contemporary songwriting during one of her high school courses in Germany. And from that point forward, she went on to study songwriting and began pursuing her dream of becoming a professional singer/songwriter.
Naturally, while in school Merton would up working with a number or producers on projects and as you can imagine, finding the right producer, who can both compliment and challenge a singer/songwriter as a true collaborator is a rarity. And when she met Berlin-based producer Nicolas Rebscher, Merton quickly recognized that she finally found her musical match; in fact, the duo have managed to specialize in an anachronistic sound in which they’ve paired Merton’s soulful, pop belter vocals with slick production featuring analog synthesizers, classic soul music-inspired instrumentation while being rooted in hook driven, contemporary songwriting.
Merton’s swaggering and bluesy debut single “No Roots,” features Merton’s self-assured and soulful pop belter vocals paired with a Rebscher production that features enormous, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, a sinuous bass line, brief blasts of funk guitar, squiggly blasts of synths and a rousingly anthemic hook that nods at Amy Winehouse, Lorde, Taylor Swift and others but while managing to be emotionally ambivalent as the song’s narrator simultaneously expresses a wizened and resilient spirit, there’s an underlying and visceral ache based on personal experiences in which the narrator has never belonged to one place and had a life frequently thrown in disarray.
Already “No Roots” has won the up-and-coming Merton an immense amount of attention both across the European Union and the States and elsewhere, as the song has already seen millions of streams on Spotify and YouTube, and has recently been added to the playlists of several Stateside Adult Alternative Album radio stations, including stations in Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, San Francisco, Minneapolis, the NYC area, as well as Sirius Alt Nation. Based on the incredible response the single has received, along with her recent signing to Mom + Pop Music, I suspect that we’ll be hearing more from the up-and-coming artist in 2018.
Directed by Stolarow, the recently released video for “No Roots” is a slickly shot video focusing on a pensive yet proud Merton as she struts and sings the song in modern yet somewhat chilly apartment that looks decidedly European to me — at some point, you’ll see a man grab her and snatch her away, much like how she felt as a child, moving from one place to another.