It gets pretty cold in Country Kildare, so you can’t blame Jack Colleran for wanting to stay indoors last winter. Pestered by his mates to come out outside when it was snowing, the seventeen-year-old Colleran brushed them off: “I was like, we did that yesterday and I don’t want to go out again. It’s beautiful and everything, but it’s really cold”.
Instead, he stayed in his bedroom and started fiddling around with a cracked copy of Reason. By the end of the day, when his mates had produced little more than a few chillblains and a penis made of snow (probably), Colleran had produced his first track. Over the next few months he added more, alongside unofficial remixes of bands like Passion Pit, Interpol and Bon Iver. Yet he never really considered it as anything more than a hobby; something to do before it warmed up a bit outside.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with his music, you know what happens next. The internet went crazy, the track went viral, and all of a sudden labels were calling up begging for his signature. He ended up inking his first contract on the same day he got his final exam results. No guessing which he was more excited about.
The acclaim kept coming, from both a salivating music press (they love a young ‘un) and infuential figures like Flying Lotus. Then, having released his debut EP under the name MMOTHS (‘moths’ is Irish slang for ‘girls’), he went out to tour the globe.
While on his travels he kept a diary – initially a traditional paper ‘n’ pen affair, but after a while that got boring so he started making demos instead. After returning to Ireland, and with a studio rather than just a laptop at his disposal, he started creating his follow-up EP; named, you guessed it, “Diaries”.
While Colleran used real instruments to record it, the feel of “Diaries” is very similar to that of his debut EP, only on a grander scale. ‘Losing You’ is so flooded with reverb it’s like you’re listening to it in a cave, probably with the spray of a nearby waterfall floating in, while the drifting chimes of ‘No One’ is reminiscent of a more introspective Balam Acab (Colleran admits that the touring experience “was pretty lonely and I guess that sort of translates through the tracks”).
There are poppier moments too – ‘For Her’, featuring arty fashionistas Young & Sick, is like something you’d hear on X-Factor if Holy Other was the special guest. Yet it’s ‘All These Things’ that steals the show. Impeccably produced, it gently whisks some distant screeches with a destabilising bassline, a snappy beat and a few droplets of melody, before delicately placing a fantastic vocal from XL’s Holly Miranda on top of it all.
While there’s nothing on “Diaries” that quite matches the ambient clang of ‘Breaking Through’ on the MMOTHS EP for pricking your ears up, there’s no denying it’s got everyone’s appetite going for a full-length release. Colleran may have previously claimed he’s “the most uncool person ever,” but let’s hope he means that literally – keeping warm, away from the cold snap, busying himself with new material…