REVIEW // Ali Barter – Girlie Bits

Ali Barter

Most girls will have a story of someone pitifully oblivious telling them to smile.

Or saying that they’re prettier when they smile, or even literally reaching out and pulling their mouths up into a smile. These poor, deluded souls are clearly unaware of how loaded these actions are, and how they’re likely to elicit the complete opposite reaction to what they’re looking for.

So I’m sure many of us can relate to the sweetly sung but dripping with sarcasm, “Give us a smile baby / Act like a real lady” line from Ali Barter. Beginning with this lyric, the song flips back and forth presumably between the man and the woman, reaching its height with the defensive line of, “You don’t understand what it’s like to be a man” overlapping with “What’s a woman meant to look like?”

Punk has a long, intertwined history with feminism. And ‘Girlie Bits’ comes at a time of rising female recognition in the music industry, what with organisations like Listen Records, One of One, Reversal of the Muse and Sad Grrrls in Australia alone. And it seems like every artist from Beyoncé to Sampa the Great is currently releasing their own female empowerment track.

An eye-catching name, but “Girlie Bits has nothing to do with body parts, it’s about the cage of what we expect of women: girlie guitar parts, girlie singing, hair; this idea of ‘femininity’ and how to fit within it.” Barter has brought out song after song of punk rock that delivers a point of difference with evocative lyrics and driving guitar. “What’s a woman made of? Something glorious?” Certainly something like Ali Barter.


Based in: Melbourne, Australia.
Sounds like: Holy Holy, Robbie Miller, Halsey.
Say what? Barter’s mother is Buddhist, father is Catholic and she grew up in a Jewish neighbourhood.

Exclusively hand-picked just for you, by Jane.  

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