You know the kind of music that makes you want to dance half-naked in the living room on a weeknight? That’s what I pictured when I first heard Alice Merton.
As I stood there in the middle of the crowded venue that smelled of cigarettes, shitty beer, and a hint of weed — something so familiar to music-lovers and yet, at the same time, oh-so-Seattle — I couldn’t help but tap my foot and allow the music to take me away from the mid-week stresses of a Wednesday evening.
Alice Merton’s set flowed skillfully through emotional ballads, quirky songs, and one number so full of resentment you could feel it resounding through the crowd (Speak Your Mind). Each piece from her first full-length album is catchy as hell and Merton brought them to life on stage. She told a story with her voice, face, hands, and body language.
“I don’t like writing about love because it’s so emotional and being on the road makes it so difficult to find someone who understands that.” — Alice Merton
You felt the emotion in Speak Your Mind. You experienced her determination during Hit The Ground Running. And you wanted to just smile and dance to Funny Business. It was refreshing to hear something beyond just love songs — rather, it a reminder of the many layers of life and how fun it all can be if you just dance it off (after all, Why So Serious?).
As someone who generally opts for classic and alt-rock, I could actually see myself dancing to Funny Business and Why So Serious at 10:30 pm on a Friday night with a glass of wine in one hand, singing along at the top of my voice and totally off key.
“I love writing quirky songs. I always wanted to write a song called funny business. […] I always love singing that song because it always makes me smile afterward.” — Alice Merton
Overall, it’s hard to describe the ideal audience for her music. I expected it to be wanderlust-filled young women who claim to have No Roots. Yet, the crowd was a bit older and diverse than I imagined it would be. The 43-year-old man was singing, dancing, and having just as great of a time as the 24-year-old girls. The room was swaying throughout the entire set — with people dancing (and drinking) their hump day troubles away.
Alice Merton put on a true performance from start to finish with an admirable amount of energy. And when all is said and done, her fetching tunes are perfect for a girl’s night in, a drive to work, or for a fun solo dance party. Because why the hell not?
“I like it when people come out feeling good. I know life can be so shit sometimes so it’s good to just dance about it.” — Alice Merton