Since first hitting the scene and our hearts in 2014 with her powerfully raw debut EP, Community, Ali Barter has finally graced us with her debut LP, A Suitable Girl. First giving us a hint of the new record with mid-2016’s ‘Far Away’, Barter really got people, especially the Speaker TV office, talking with her Hottest 100 charting ripper, ‘Girlie Bits’.
With A Suitable Girl, it seems that Barter has ditched some of the more interesting musical elements apparent on her previous EP’s for a more straight-forward rock sound. This is championed on tracks such as ‘Cigarette’, ‘Girlie Bit’s’, and ‘One Foot In’. Unfortunately, some of the tracks fall between the lines, such as ‘Light Them On Fire’, which, although enjoyable, feels like a slower, less interesting version of ‘Girlie Bits’.
The record opens with the instantly recognisable ‘Cigarette’, before powering into the driving ‘One Foot In‘ without missing a beat. The track calmly begins with Barter‘s signature bubblegum vocals, before screeching into an infectious, totally air-guitar worthy lick. This is the kinda track that is sure to get people moving at a gig. ‘Girlie Bits’ makes it’s appearance straight after, quickly making the listener feel right at home.
After making a huge statement with the first three tracks, A Suitable Girl‘s excitement begins to wane. ‘Tokyo’ is sombre acoustic offering which feels a bit lost in translation – which is funny seeing that the lyrics “We’re in Tokyo, it’s a lonely place for love” gives total Lost In Translation vibes (which is good or bad depending on your position on the film). The track displays a moment of interest towards the last minute but overall isn’t terribly memorable.
Another moment of clarity is apparent with the excellent track ‘The Captain‘ – which is at times slow and sombre, much like ‘Tokyo’, but never loses interest – especially in the mid-song crescendo. ‘Delilah’ and ‘Far Away’ are interesting, catchy, and energetic before we’re presented with finishing jam ‘Walk Talk’ – which isn’t a poor track, but doesn’t feel like the championing farewell the record deserves.
A Suitable Girl is an enjoyable listen from one of Australia’s most exciting emerging talents – there’s just the lingering feeling of wanting more. The brooding ascension of tracks like ‘Blood’ from Barter‘s 2015 AB-EP is greatly missed. Barter has room for improvement on her next full-length venture – and we’re looking forward to it.
A Suitable Girl is out on March 24 on Ronnie Records via Inertia Music.
Ali Barter is touring A Suitable Girl with IV League through April & May