Thursday, April 29, 2021

Alice Merton shares stomping synth-y single ‘Vertigo’

Having played Coachella, and gone seven times platinum, Alice Merton’s career is going from strength to strength. 

Her debut synth-pop single, ‘No Roots’, with its pulsating bassline and Dua Lipa-esque vocals received much airplay on BBC Radio 1 and Radio X. Subsequent singles ‘Lash Out’ and ‘Why So Serious’ incorporate more guitar-driven melodies and pop-rock elements. Here, on her latest single ‘Vertigo’, Merton finds a balance between both styles.

Inspired by her own experience of her anxieties while waiting in line for a Berlin club, ‘Vertigo’ is Alice’s first release in 18 months, since her deluxe album ‘MINT +4’ in October 2019. 

Born in Germany and raised in Canada and England, her influences are wide-ranging, and this track would not be out of place either on popular radio or in indie playlists.

Both the speedy delivery of the lyrics and the pounding instrumentation mimic Alice’s anxiety and her journey to escape from the club, as she sings “hands are sweaty, my heart beats heavy” over the surging guitars and drumbeat. This single is produced by Koz, who has also worked with the likes of Madonna, Nicki Minaj, and Kendrick Lamar, and is released through Alice’s label Paper Plane Records Int. 

Speaking to Rolling Stone, she said how “for the first time in a while, I felt excited to have written a song that I couldn’t wait to perform live.” And ‘Vertigo’ is sure to be a fan favourite when live music returns, with its catchy refrain, “all I can feel is Vertigo-o-o-o-o,” and its slick guitars which are reminiscent of The Blinders.

Having appeared as a vocal coach on Germany’s ‘The Voice’, it is not surprising that Alice’s powerful vocals take centre stage, particularly during the bridge as the song slows down. Then suddenly, the rattling drums and distorted guitars kick in again for a final triumphant chorus. By the end of the song, Alice resolves her situation by leaving the crowded club. It is a confident and empowering anthem from an artist whose evolving style generates much excitement for what the future might hold.

Sarah Taylor

Social media: @tayl0rsarah

Image: Alice Merton ‘Vertigo’ Official Single Cover Art

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