Belonging is a recurring theme in my life, or more appropriately, not belonging. Perhaps that’s why I am drawn to 26-year-old German-British singer-songwriter Alice Merton’s biggest record to date, ‘No Roots.’ Born in Germany, she was raised primarily in Connecticut and Ontario, Canada as well as New York, London, and several cities in Germany, leading her to say there’s no one place she calls home. I get it. Now residing in Berlin where she coaches The Voice of Germany, Merton winds down her tour supporting the second release of her debut album and featuring four additional tracks, Mint+4.
To be honest, I didn’t know most of her tracks prior to this gig, but I certainly do now — and I’ll argue that her new tracks are among the best leading with ‘Keeps Me Awake,’ inspired by sparring rifts with her manager, ‘PCH’ written in the throes of jet lag and riding along the Pacific Coast Highway, and ‘Easy.’ (She didn’t perform ‘Back to Berlin’). Other favorites included ‘Jealousy,’ ‘I Don’t Hold a Grudge,’ and ‘Funny Business.’
Beyond themes of belonging, Merton said she chases music, and has an aversion to writing love songs (and painfully having to perform them night after night). But she makes an exception with ‘Honeymoon Heartbreak.’ It almost sounds like a Lana Del Rey track, and Merton performs it beautifully cast in smoke and mint green flood lights.
Keep an eye on this up-and-comer. She’s special, and has more to say. Expect to hear more in 2020 with a new album.