Two years on from her blistering debut A Suitable Girl, Ali Barter has announced her triumphant return with Hello, I’m Doing My Best – a revealing collection of songs that track her most formative relationships: to her body, her instincts, sobriety and the old vices it counteracts, and the people she loves most.
Hello, I’m Doing My Best follows Barter’s 2017 debut LP A Suitable Girl. A record that, by all accounts was critically and popularly acclaimed. Tone Deaf touted it as “an album that struck a nerve with Australia”, while Sydney Morning Herald backed her as a “star on the rise”. Ali Barter, however, wasn’t so sure. “The first record came out and for some reason I rejected it,” she says, listing the complaints she found with her own work: “it’s too polished and my voice is too high” being at the top of the list. Overcome with self-doubt, Barter pushed herself away from music, determined to never write another song.
But in the winter, a few months after the record’s release, she went out of town to clear her head, with her guitar for company. “Stuff started coming up and I couldn’t push it down,” she says, and despite feeling like she “wasn’t ready” for what these songs were saying, her and Dawson went about recording and testing the limits of her surprising new songs. She heard something in them she’d realised she didn’t need to fight anymore. “When we demoed them up, I was like, Oh, there I am. The thing I was pushing against was me”
Hello I’m Doing My Best is a sentiment most can relate to, and therein lies the undeniable pull of Ali Barter’s output. From her breakout single ‘Girlie Bits’ to recent cut ‘Ur A Piece Of Shit’ Barter spins sobering honesty through sugary pop songs, like a one-two punch of staunch self assurance and touching vulnerability, in a way that is so uniquely her own. On her method, Barter explains “I really connect to the idea that you can say something really controversial, but if you say it in a nice way people are more likely to listen to it.”
Barter has toured relentlessly, completing two sold out headline tours, countless festival slots and supported The Rubens, The War On Drugs, The Jezabels, Stevie Nicks, The Preatures, Chrissie Hynde and personal hero, Liz Phair. In support of the album she’s touring Europe, Australia and the US later this year.
Hello, I’m Doing My Best is out October 18 on Inertia Music / [PIAS]. ‘Backseat’ is out now and available to stream on Spotify.
ALI BARTER ALBUM TOUR
September 18 – Melweg Upstairs, Amsterdam NL
September 19 – Bastille Sounds at Supersoni, Paris FR
September 20 – Reeperbahn Festival (Aussie BBQ), Hamburg DE
September 23 – Haldern Pop Bar, Haldern DE
September 25 – LA Machine, Brussels BE
September 28 – Broadcast, Glasgow UK
September 29 – The Lending Room, Leeds UK
September 30 – Yes (Basement), Manchester UK
October 1 – Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham UK
October 2 – Sebright Arms, London UK
October 4 – McHughs, Belfast IE
October 5 – Academy 2, Dublin IE
October 25 – Rosemount Hotel, Perth
October 31 – The Zoo, Brisbane
November 1 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
November 3 – Alter, Hobart
November 7 – Jive, Adelaide
November 8 – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
November 13 – Schubas, Chicago IL
November 15 – Drake Hotel, Toronto ON
November 16 – Songbyrd DC, Washington DC
November 17 – Once, Boston MA
November 19 – Mercury Lounge, New York NY
November 21 – Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco CA
November 22 – Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles CA