Pieater releases: Airling adds two shows in Bris & Melb; debut album ‘Hard To Sleep, Easy To Dream’ out tomorrow

April 26 2017

Brisbane-based singer Airling tomorrow releases her debut album Hard To Sleep, Easy To Dream, currently being featured on triple j this week. Recorded between multiple trips to Melbourne at Pieater’s first HQ Mixed Business studios and finally finished at the new home at BellBird, the album was co-produced by Tom Iansek and band-mate Graham Ritchie and features collaborations with Tom Iansek, Fractures and Emma Louise.

Hard To Sleep, Easy To Dream refines and builds on the breakthroughs of Airling’s debut EP Love Gracefully (2014) and previously shared singles and collaborations with artists such as Japanese Wallpaper, #1 Dads/Tom Iansek, Xavier Dunn and more, to bring a powerful and personal record, bursting with infectious melodies, soaring vocals and honest lyricism.

Shepherd has been working on her debut album for the last couple of years. Shifting through a lifetime of experiences, the record navigates between the sadness and joys of life, embracing each moment as freely as the writer behind the pen. Across Hard To Sleep, Easy To Dream’s fourteen songs, Airling brilliantly explores living life free of fear while still acknowledging its existence and exploring its pain.

Airling heads on the road for her Australian Album Tour, stopping at Adelaide, Perth, Fremantle, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne this May, alongside the fast-rising Sydney artist Jack Grace as main support and locals Auguste (Adelaide), Isabel (Perth & Freo), Annie Bass (Sydney), Ellie (Brisbane) and Romeo Moon (Melb). See dates and details below.

Hard To Sleep, Easy To Dream is out now and available digitally and on 12” vinyl. Purchase / stream it here.

Presented by triple j

Fri 19 May – Jive – Adelaide
With support from Jack Grace & Auguste

Sat 20 May – Babushka – Perth
With support from Jack Grace & Isabel

Sun 21 May – Mojo’s Bar – Fremantle
With support from Jack Grace & Isabel

Fri 26 May – Civic Underground – Sydney
With support from Jack Grace & Annie Bass

Sat 27 May – Black Bear Lodge – Brisbane (SOLD OUT)
With support from Jack Grace & Ellie

Sun 28 May – Black Bear Lodge – Brisbane
With support from Jack Grace & Ellie

Sat 3 June – Northcote Social Club – Melbourne (SOLD OUT)
With support from Jack Grace & Romeo Moon

Sun 4 June – Northcote Social Club – Melbourne
With support from Jack Grace & Romeo Moon

Grab tickets via airling.net

Hard To Sleep, Easy To Dream is out now via Pieater. Buy/stream it here.


I have been working on my debut album ‘Hard to Sleep, Easy to Dream’ for the last couple of years. This is a lyric from one of my songs… “So hard to sleep but so easy to dream. So hard to fall asleep but so easy to fall for your dreams”. The album title is an expression which is quite literal and personal to me. I have difficulty sleeping, and have struggled with insomnia on and off since I was a teen, but I’ve always found it so easy to dream. I’m a dreamer and a believer in nurturing big dreams and following my feelings – but I sometimes struggle with the practicalities of life and looking after oneself.

I think you should surround yourself with people who inspire you. My two main collaborators and producers, Tom Iansek and Graham Ritchie are a constant inspiration for me. They have opened my mind to so much that has helped fuel the flood of songs I was writing for this album.

At first, we set out to record a second EP, but the fun and freedom that I felt with my writing made it clear to us that we had a collection of songs that couldn’t be anything but my first album. Creating this album has been the most fulfilling thing that I’ve done with my life so far. I feel like I’ve been writing more than I ever have in my life, and more honestly than ever before as well. I also began experimenting a lot more with beats and creating a vibe in the room – and this initial and instinctual ‘vibe’ has often made its way onto the final versions of the tracks on the album

There are some songs on the album which make you want to groove. They have a lightness to them and will hopefully make people feel good, like ‘Move Me’, ‘Not a Fighter’ and ‘Give Me All You Got’. ‘Give Me All You Got’ which was probably the most fun of all the songs to record and possibly the quickest as well, as the parts seemed to almost write themselves. Graham and I smashed a demo of this out in half a day I think.

Having dealt with a fair bit of loss in my life, there are also songs which are dark and quite heavy. I believe these ones are still full of some hope, though fuelled by sadness and fear. I was in a pretty dark place when I wrote the first track on the album ‘I am Just a Body’. I think there’s something inherently powerful to me about embracing sadness and being able to take a dark moment and create something beautiful from it. It feels like a release and it can be fulfilling and so healing, hopefully for others as well as for myself. It seems there’s a lot of light and shade in the album. Light vs Dark. And I guess that is reflective of what I carry inside and of me always trying to find joy in the saddest places.

‘A Day In the Park’ is a beautiful song which I wrote with Tom after I walked in on him playing this piano riff in the studio one day. It’s a duet and a poignant and peaceful moment in the middle of the album. I feel like it’s a reminder for us to take time out to be peaceful, to fill ourselves up with love and the hope we have for others to be filled up with this love as well. ‘We’re pieces of one body, two ripples in an ocean. I’m feeling everything you’re feeling. Let’s grow old and be believing’. I think this song is reflective of the trust and friendship Tom and I have, as well as our intangible and powerful creative connection.

‘Shut the Light Out’ is probably one of my favourite tracks on the album. I started writing it in New York when I spent a month living in Brooklyn which was a very growing experience for me. I learnt a lot about myself during this time. After creating some chaos around me, hurting someone that I love and managing to lose my wallet and passport, I turned the lights off and locked myself away in my room trying to make sense of the events. Once I came home to Australia, I finished writing the song with one of my best friends Greg Chiapello, who I’ve been playing music with since I was a teenager. In writing this song, I think I gained further respect for and knowledge of guilt and forgiveness.

These songs and stories have been a big part and a product of me getting to know life, death and my myself, my hopes and fears – while at the same time expressing myself to others. Aligning my thoughts and emotions with songs and words. Trying to live life free of fear while still acknowledging its existence and exploring its pain. Learning to love myself so I can explore my ability to love others and my potential to create. I am insanely proud of this record.