GIGS // Airling // Howler


It was a glittery night in the beautiful venue that is Howler.

Disco balls decorated the stage floor, shooting pink and yellow lighting around the room, and Airling’s sparkling outfit accompanied her shimmering voice. Can I possibly fit another synonym for “glitter” into this post?

Kicking off with her charmingly curated debut EP Love Gracefully featuring singles ‘Wasted Pilots’ and ‘The Runner’ in 2014, Airling shows no signs of slowing down, going from strength to strength since first appearing on the scene.

Real name Hannah Shepherd, Airling has total command of the intricacies that her vocals can deliver. In fact, after seeing her live, I would go so far as to compare her to the styles of Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey. Big calls, but her joint effort with Japanese Wallpaper on ‘Forces’ exemplifies her burgeoning talent.

Something in Airling’s show that initially struck me was the rawness factor. The music sounds comparatively different to the recordings. Usually, her namesake describes her recorded sounds quite well, but there is much more grit to her live.

It’s not just her vocals that are comparable to Xtina, but her movements on stage mimicked the singer as well. Airling seems younger than she sounds though, and her stage presence can only get better and better as her musical output increases. The twinkling (one more synonym: tick) lights and all the equipment on stage seemed to drown her out a bit.

But similar to this rawness seen on stage, Airling’s latest two singles ‘Stallin” and ‘Move Me’ have had a little more zest. Produced in collaboration with the genius that is Tom Iansek, also on the same Pieater label, ‘Move Me’ is a sign of what’s to come on her presumably upcoming album. Of the song, Airling says “There’s a sensuality to it: in the notion of borrowing someone’s body on the dance floor and seeing how it fits with your own.” Like I said, zesty! A sign of what’s to come.


Hometown: Brisbane, Australia.
Upcoming album: Seems like it’ll be coming soon via Pieater.
Sounds like: Japanese Wallpaper, Eves the Behaviour, Lupa J.
Say what? Airling’s grandfather taught her how to whistle and hum before she could even walk or talk. Priorities! 

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