Alice Merton exploded into the top ten charts of multiple countries with her attention-grabbing debut single ‘No Roots’ back in December 2016, and has spent the two years since then building on her success by touring, more singles and crafting a confident debut album, Mint, which packs a sonic punch.
The opening lyrics of the first track, ‘Learn to Live’, “They’ve got fire, well I’ve got lightning bolts…”, set the scene for the album, which successfully weaves honest, often vulnerable, storytelling into powerful alt-pop. Merton tackles problematic relationships on Mint, confronting a friend who deserted her in ‘I Don’t Hold a Grudge’, implores a loved one to open up in ‘Speak Your Mind’ (which has a Billie Eilish feeling to it) and being jilted on the Lana Del Rey-esque ‘Honeymoon Heartbreak’, yet the overall feeling seems to be of a young woman fearlessly expressing her truth and her ambitions, through often anthemic tracks that unapologetically explore an array of pop sub-genres.
Merton previously stated that her intention was to pull apart the themes within ‘No Roots’and spread them across an album of songs, which she appears to have done with ease. Mint is a testament to what happens when an artist is writing and co-producing their own music, with only a handful of others involved. Perhaps more tellingly, Merton set up her own label for the release and cites having creative freedom as a huge factor in the decision. The partnership between Merton and main co-writer/producer Nicolas Rebscher across the majority of the album demonstrates the clear vision for the project and the song crafting talents of both.
This is an exciting debut album from an artist who knows her own sound, and sure-fire hit among fans of Lorde, Foster The People, Foxes, Florence & The Machine, Sigrid and the like.