Alice Merton is ready to return to the stage with her new single “Vertigo.”
Produced by Koz, the track was inspired by a dizzying experience Merton had while waiting in line for a club. She channels this unease into a dense drum beat and cathartic guitar riff reminiscent of Muse as she tries to grapple with the unpleasant sensation.
“‘Vertigo’ was the first song I had written, where I thought ‘OK, now I’m actually writing for the next album,’” Merton tells Rolling Stone. “For the first time in a while, I felt excited to have written a song that I couldn’t wait to perform live. It basically came about after Koz and I had talked about what it’s like living in Berlin, the very different club scene, and my anxiety when it came to going out and being in big crowds and small spaces. I casually described a club night, where I felt out of place, and the feeling of vertigo took over. We both felt it would be fun to play around with this idea and create a dark atmosphere, supported by a driving rhythm and an almost hypnotic guitar riff.”
“Vertigo” marks Merton’s first new music since 2019’s Mint. In 2018, she was featured as a Rolling Stone Artist You Need to Know, where she discussed her debut single “No Roots.” Merton describes her new album as darker and more melodic than its predecessor.
“It was important to me that whatever comes next isn’t just a logical sequence to Mint, but a more adventurous journey, challenging myself but also staying true to what feels right in the moment,” she says. “I was lucky to work with various producers who were just as excited as I was to venture out of our comfort zone and try new things.”