Words by Freya Langley
A Suitable Girl is the debut album from former choir girl turned pop/rock darling, Ali Barter. Barter has made a beautifully diverse, unashamedly feminist record, featuring catchy pop choruses interspersed with rock guitars and attitude. She cleverly employs painfully honest lyrics to convey angst, anger and heartbreak in a way that makes you jump on your bed, instead of cry in it. From the opening track, 'Cigarette', to the concluding, 'Walk/Talk', Barter takes her listeners on a personal and vast emotional journey. The songwriting is raw and real, backed with blistering guitar solos. 'One Foot In' is a powerful pop anthem, with a strong Garbage influence. 'Tokyo' captures vulnerability and hopelessness, but the power and strength prevails in spite of this. Overall, A Suitable Girl is a fun, yet heart-stirringly cathartic collection of empowering pop anthems. I didn’t want to like it as much as I do, but when songs like 'Far Away' are so catchy, it’s impossible not to.
We hit Ali with 20 suitable questions, following the release of her record last Friday.
1. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
Coffee and vegemite toast.
2. Describe your new record, A Suitable Girl in three words?
Loud, angsty, fun.
3. Of the following three noodle soups, which do you prefer? Laksa, ramen, or pho?
4. What is your favourite venue to play at?
I like the Zoo in Brisbane.
5. What is a suitable girl?
6. How is this record different to your last releases?
Simpler, fuzzier, screami-er
7. What were the best emotions to channel for writing this record?
Anger, fear, envy, remorse.
8. Tomato sauce. In the fridge or in the cupboard?
9. Who are your top three female artists who’ve inspired this record?
Juliana Hatfield, Gwen Stefani, Liz Phair.
10. In Titanic, could Rose have shuffled over and saved herself AND Jack?
Sure. Jack was hot.
11. Tell us a bit about ‘Light Them on Fire’.
Written in LA with a songwriter called Sydney Wayser in her living room, with her cats. It’s about boys being annoying.
12. What's your best hangover cure?
13. Describe your supports for your upcoming tour, IV League, in three words.
Good time jams.
14. Cats or dogs?
15. Neighbours or Home and Away?
16. When telling people who critique your looks before your music, do you prefer to give ‘em the middle finger or the “backwards-peace-fuck-off” fingers?
17. Tell us a little bit about ‘Tokyo’ - was it quite a cathartic song to write?
Written about a depressing holiday when a relationship was starting to go bad. It’s cathartic to get a couple of digs in through a song.
18. Kim Possible vs. Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Who is most likely to save the world?
Sabrina. She follows me on Twitter. True story.
19. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
20. Describe the best setting to listen to your new record.
In the car, with mates, driving to the beach.