No Roots

Album: No Roots (2016)
Charted: 52 84

Songfacts®:

  • Alice Merton was born to an Irish father and a German mother in Frankfurt, Germany. She spent her early life in Canada and the United Kingdom before her family moved to Munich when she was 13. This song is about her lack of a true home, due to a life spent constantly moving. She explained to ABC Radio:

    "I remember visiting my parents in England and being on the beach, and just realizing that I don't have a place I can call home. That's when the realization came that my home was never on the ground, it was with the people who I love, and that was then the uplifting part. But the actual thought of not really having a home was, for me, very depressing, and it was something that I was dealing with for quite some time."
  • Despite the sad story behind the song, it has a buoyant, defiant sound. "The reason I wanted it to be upbeat was so that I don't always have to feel upset every time I hear it," Merton explained. "I didn't want to write a sad song to remind me of the fact that I'm always moving around, I wanted something to cheer me up."
  • The song was a hit throughout Europe especially in France where it topped the single charts for two weeks.
  • Alice Merton channelled a number of modern rock influences while writing "No Roots," but one band was initially a little bit too influential. When the musician was first writing the track with her producer, she realized some of her "oohs" sounded a little too much like the ones in Maroon 5's hit "Moves Like Jagger."

    "The first draft of it was a different 'ooh,' it was actually a different melody, but then we were like, 'Oh, that sounds too similar to Maroon 5, we can't take that,'" Merton recalled to ABC Radio. "So we sat for an hour and just kind of contemplated on what kind of 'oohs' felt right."

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