'Far Away' (Jan 2016).

NPR PREMIERE of 'Hypercolour', directed by Rhys Mitchell. Starring Eric Mengel.

'AB-EP' (2015), is out HERE.

Ali Barter has an ethereal presence. It’s a presence that leads from her eyes to her hips; it coils around 70s stadiums and backroom bars; and it clears it’s throat from the neck of her guitar. When people are fumbling to describe it, they use words like “presence” or “compelling”. It’s something that prevents people from turning away.

It’s taken a long time to come from nowhere; yet Barter is not in a rush. Initially collaborating with friends and strangers, Ali found her musical soulmate in Oscar Dawson (HOLY HOLY) and the pair recorded and toured throughout 2013 and ‘14. Somehow, the combination resulted in Barter finding confidence in her direction; trusting her voice and songs, and discovering the will to carry it live. She gathered musicians who could flesh out the songs she was building. They played pub residencies, regional tours and supported the likes of The War On Drugs, Phosphorescent and Husky, tightening their sound and building a show, testing their metal for the studio and beyond.

In 2015, this resulted in the six-track EP, entitled ‘AB-EP’. Lyrics describe the eternal nothing of a baking Melbourne summer day (Ode 2 Summa) or a farewell to youth (If You Go). The guitars can be both lush and aggressive (Blood), building in layers and then stripped down to bare vocals, or pushed to the back to let Barter's presence run free (Hypercolour). There is ambition here and and an increasingly clear vision. I Ask For So Little could almost have been picked straight from an 90s grunge playlist. That’s no-one’s idea of cool, but in Barter’s hands it is lifted into something compelling.