From electronic to folk, pop to blues and indie, Ali Barter is one of the unsung heroes of the Australian music scene. Last year she released A Suitable Girl that had all the right ingredients to make it one of last year’s standout albums. Importantly it was fresh, authentic and emotive tinged with what Rolling Stone called “withering gender politics”.
There is a lot to like about how Ali Barter goes about her business. Straight up I love her delicate but sweet vocals, which interestingly a friend of mine last year compared her to US singer songwriter Jenny Lewis. That said, if my memory serves me correctly, Ali once trained as a soprano for a girls choir, which makes sense of how she uses that expressive voice of hers. But if you love her vocals, you will also be impressed by her ability in being able effortlessly play guitar and write straight-forward melodies that give rise to songs with real feeling.
While her latest album contains an array of songs that showcase her blistering guitar work, I’ve instead chosen for this series one of her earliest songs from a few years ago that centres on her guitar playing and eloquent brilliance called Community. While her studio version of Community is filled with amazing soundscapes, this stripped down version here below still says everything I love about Ali Barter, especially her rousing honesty. Enjoy!
Photo credit: The press photo of Ali Barter is courtesy of photographer Hannah Markoff. It was originally supplied by Bree Wilkinson at Inertia Music for my interview with Ali Barter in 2017. I am not the uploader of the You Tube clip embedded here.