With numerous Top 10 chart positions across Europe, 650 million career streams, and even a victorious run as a coach on the German edition of The Voice, Alice Merton’s pop vision has a huge global-facing appeal. Having returned early this year with ‘Vertigo’, Alice now starts a new chapter in her career by sharing the new single ‘Hero’. Part of a wealth of new material that she’s currently working on, Alice also today releases the track’s b-side ‘Island’.
‘Hero’ starts with an arresting and unconventional sonic hook, before Alice introduces the song’s narrative: “Sometimes I wish I was the hero in your story,” she begins, “I’d save you from yourself.” After that attention-grabbing opening, ‘Hero’unfolds in thrillingly unexpected fashion, feeling like an unlikely synthesis between the dark side of Halsey’s angsty modern pop and the electro-tinged alt-rock of Garbage. Continuing Alice’s new sound that commenced with ‘Vertigo’, it’s rich with her personality: a heartfelt first-person experience conveyed by a vocal that exudes a real, naturalistic talent.
‘Hero’ was produced by Alice with Jonny Coffer (Beyoncé, Ellie Goulding, Jess Glynne) after the pair’s rush of inspiration resulted in the song being written within an hour.
“Everything I felt in the last year was summed up in the first two sentences of the song,” says Alice. “It’s about the conflict of wanting something so bad, but realizing you just don't have the strength to fight for it anymore. It talks about the discrepancy of wanting to be someone’s everything, and at the same time wishing they meant nothing to you.”
The ‘Hero’ video continues Alice’s creative partnership with Anuk Rohde after they excelled with the post-apocalyptic aesthetic of ‘Vertigo’. Watch BELOW:
The b-side ‘Island’ is the counterpoint to ‘Hero’, with restless drums, a dramatic hook and a distorted guitar riff providing a tense release of nervous, anxious rock energy. “‘Island’ is filled with desperation, angst and the overwhelming need not to give up,” she continues. “I imagined the situation of two people drowning at sea. One tries with all their strength and energy to pull the other to shore and bring them back to life.” ‘Island’ was produced by Tim Morten.
Despite their contrasting sonics and themes, ‘Hero’ and ‘Island’ are united by offering takes on hope. As Alice explains, “‘Island’ acknowledges the struggle and desire to survive together, while ‘Hero’ calls a ceasefire and waves a flag to announce its surrender.”
Having returned to touring with a selection of outdoor shows in Germany, Alice’s two new songs preview more new music to come as 2021 unfolds. Born in Frankfurt, and raised between Germany, the USA, England and Canada, Alice Merton released her debut album ‘MINT’ in 2019, as well as its deluxe edition ‘MINT +4’ later that year. Complementing her international success with early UK support from Radio 1, Alice has also collaborated with the likes of Tom Odell, AWOLNATION, and the Grammy-winning producer Koz (Dua Lipa).