RIYL: Troye Sivan, Andrew Belle, Thelma Plum, Dustin Tebbutt, Tennis
Popular culture within contemporary society can be defined by chaotic quick fixes and the inability to resolve the deeper issues with anything but force. When people need time, they are required to make a decision, and when someone should walk away they are involuntarily exposed to the thing they know is harming them. Examples of this include the pressures placed upon individuals to find who they are and the extensive use of social media. This harsh approach makes a peaceful resolution become completely inaccessible, and it’s this exact motion that is exposing some of the biggest cracks in society. This forceful nature – the constant pressure to perform and the inability to slow down – is exactly where the irony within Airling’s EP Love Gracefully can be found.
The irony this EP manages to establish provides a refreshing and invigorating opportunity to take a step back from all the force. Whilst the EP does tackle some of the more pressing issues such as loss and self-doubt, there is a quietly calming undercurrent that cradles and nurtures the magic of Airling.
Hannah Shepherd (the vocalist from Airling) is from Brisbane, Australia and has a strong belief in allowing “the soul of a song to breathe.” That sentiment is evident in every corner of the EP: Love Gracefully oozes a gentle, simplistic nature that is full of spontaneity.
Upon discovering this EP, there is an addictive quality that quickly forms a part of Airling’s trademark. The heavy drumbeats and progressive electronic vibe are prominent features that should not be understated. Consisting of 5 pristine tracks, the EP unfolds neatly like a pack of cards that desperately require to be shuffled. You know the cards need to be shuffled, but sometimes the effort feels like more than it is worth. The liberation this record has the ability to empower upon individuals will result in a lot more aces being played, except this time through more graceful measures.
Listen: “Loving Gracefully” EP – Airling
Opening track “Ouroboros,” which means ‘complete’ or ‘infinity’, is an organic prelude that sets the tone of the EP via the seductive use of pulsing beats and the ingenious use of imagery.
Broken from the head down to the toes
Losing everything that you live for
Sleeping all the nights with your eyes pinned
Swallowing the air when it tastes bitter
How much can your body take?
Only what your heart can make
Give it until your body breaks
– “Wasted Pilots” by Airling
The highlight of the EP lies within “Wasted Pilots.” Whilst Airling likes to allow her listeners to create their own musings about her music, this track undoubtedly will resonate against many placards of life. The pounding, confronting effects that popular culture has on individuals today is vividly described throughout this track. It’s a delicate and elegant example of a graceful surrender that Airling stands by.
The EP is finished off with a striking track, “Where You Are,” which gleams with vulnerability. Airling’s vocals are slender but carry a defiance that instills confidence. After navigating though trials that everyone can relate to at one stage or another, Airling slams the notion that anything but grace is required to make it through another day with dignity.
Love Gracefully makes a seemingly inaccessible space – one full of refreshing clarity – seem a step closer by devouring through the loud demands found within contemporary society. Airling’s overwhelming ability to cleanse the influence of popular culture upon individuals in this day and age should be highly commended. The demands placed upon us, which sometimes feel so difficult to reject, find a renewed strength through the creative output of Airling.
Watch: “Wasted Pilots” – Airling