Ali Barter | Girlie Bits

I’ve been sitting on this for a little while for when I’m struggling to find anything I fancy publishing but when you’ve got an earworm, you’ve got an earworm. For the last three days, I’ve been going back to this track from Melbourne’s Ali Barter, attempting to move on from its impossibly catchy rhythms and failing sadly.

However, let’s not beat around the bush. This is an energetic guitar pop track with catchy rhythms that successfully embellishes a lyrical basis made up solely of misogynistic cat-calls. So whilst the music may have you flinging yourself (or at least myself) around your room with energy and reckless abandon it’s nigh impossible to ignore the vocal lines such as “You don’t understand what it’s like to be a man” or “flash us your pantie lines.” I’m impossibly fortunate. I’m a white middle-class male born in the West. I literally could not be more privileged in the societal hierarchy. I have never experienced racism, sexism or any form of institutionalised discrimination. I don’t want to depart too radically from the track on this point but I feel it is a necessary point to make.

The song provides a strong outlet for education in these areas. The juxtaposition between a bright pop sensibility with an angelic sounding female voice addressing the catcalls is an immediate contrast with a chorus lamenting how “you don’t understand what it’s like to be a man.” I do understand what it’s like to be a man and, to be honest, I’ve had it pretty easy. Sang with a complete commitment the irony of the vocal content shines through and allows this song to really spread it’s wings as a statement of societal fault as well as a really enjoyable pop product.

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