With the release of her debut album A Suitable Girl back in March last year and supporting the likes of Stevie Nicks, there’s no slowing down for the Melbourne singer-songwriter as she kicks off 2018 with the upcoming Zoo Twilights. You’ll also be able to catch Ali supporting The Preatures this Friday 9th February.
We recently had a chat with Ali about her 2017 highlights, making of A Suitable Girl, and #MeNoMore campaign.
You had a pretty rad 2017 with the release of your debut album “A Suitable Girl”, playing sold out shows across Australia and supporting the goddess Stevie Nicks. Looking back, what was the highlight?
The highlight of last year was spending time on the road with my band. We had a lot of fun playing to crowds all over Australia and met some awesome people. There really is nothing better than getting out on stage and playing live.
You’ll soon be sharing a stage with the The Preatures. Are you excited/nervous to be supporting those guys?
Super excited to support The Preatures! I’m a big fan and have never seen them live, so yeah, it’s going to be great.
“A Suitable Girl” is the perfect soundtrack for your 20s. What was your vision for this album and can you tell us a bit about the journey of bring the album to fruition?
I wanted to be honest and write songs about what was going on for me during a pretty painful time in my life. I think I was having late 20’s growing pains. So writing this album was kinda like therapy.
Were there any tracks that you were bummed didn’t make it on the album?
Nah, I feel like everything was meant to be exactly where it is. I am gearing up for album 2 now so no time for looking back!
The album deals with complexity of relationships but also emotional expectations. What were some of your biggest takeaways from past relationships that has helped you?
Oh god, I learn mostly from my mistakes. The main thing is communication. Not thinking someone can read my mind. Also that it’s ok to be in a relationship but have your own lives. I’ve made the mistake of getting too enmeshed in people before and then they can never live up to my expectations.
Everyone has their own interpretation of your songs. How do you interpret your songs? What story are you trying to tell through your music/this album?
My songs are pretty literal so they mean the same thing to me today as they did when I wrote them. I guess I was just trying to be honest with and find a safe place to say things I was scared to say out loud. I’m glad that people identify with the sentiments and also find their own meaning in my songs.
Do you feel like it is important to be vulnerable and honest in your songwriting because it resonates with the audience, or is more for yourself and just putting your feelings out there?
It’s just the way I am. If you meet me I’m pretty open, I’m like my mum in that way. She’ll be best friends with the check-out chick after one visit to the supermarket. My songs are personal because that’s what I know and I wouldn’t feel like myself if I wrote in any other way.
Other than music, do you have any other creative outlets?
I’ve been making zines which I sell on my website. They are about things I like, all kinda related to the album. I also spend a bit of time in India so I’m always cooking and reading and learning about the place. I’d love to learn Hindi but who has the time!?
There are a lot of Australian artist speaking up about their own experiences of sexual harassment within the music industry with the #MeNoMore campaign. Do you feel like these sort of sexist behaviour/abuse of power is a result of the abusers not been held accountable but also bystanders allowing the behaviour to continue?
Yes, I think that’s true and I think it’s great that we are having this moment where women feel safe to speak up and hopefully the culture will change.
How can men participate in the conversation to help change these behaviours in the music industry?
Sometimes just listening can be really powerful. I’ve had some really incredible conversations with men in my life recently. It’s important that we have empathy and that happens through truly listening to each other. Not abusing people over social media. That doesn’t help anyone.
Who are your top 5 artist to watch for 2018?
I’m loving Stella Donnelly, Boat Show, Mossy, Murmurmur and San Mei who all have stuff coming out soon I think.
Lastly, what can everyone expect from an Ali Barter gig?
Lots of fuzzy guitars, big drums, guitar solos and randy, fun times.
Follow Ali Barter on