Growing up in Letterkenny, County Donegal, Aaron Coleman aka Arn.’s penchant for writing infectious pop hooks and his borderless aesthetic is challenging any preconceived notions of what it means to be an artist from rural Ireland.
Having been raised on a diet of classic rock and The Dubliners as a child, he inhaled hundreds of hours of seminal records on family road trips to Waterford and fed his fascination for anthemic pop hits through looping VCR clips of Enrique Iglesis as a child at the weekends.
As his taste developed and the challenges of adolescence unfolded, Arn. found solace in the recommendations of his brother. Blaring Slipknot, Wu Tang Clan, Korn and early pop-punk heroes like Paramore through his bedroom speakers Arn. was able to channel his teenage angst into visceral and emotive records that would come to inform his heart-on-his-sleeve songwriting. Subsequently, the rising act has developed a unique way of borrowing from music before his time and transforming it into future nostalgia indie earworms.
Coupled with a modest but growing discography that shares DNA with the bedroom-pop textures of Clairo and the hook game of indie highflyer Remi Wolf, Arn. is developing a reputation as an act crafting infectious cuts on his own terms. An approach highlighted on ‘White Nikes’ and ‘Alive’ , where rather than compromising the rousing instrumentation, the vulnerable lyricism accentuates the sound, pulling his ability to seamlessly marry disparate elements into full focus.
Emboldened by the homogenous and limited pub scene of local musicians, Arn.’s mission statement is fuelled by a desire to take the road less travelled. “My surroundings informed what I’m doing now, because I didn’t want to do country. I didn’t want my music to be a direct association of where I’m from. It was the things that weren’t from where I’m from that moulded my taste of music.”
It’s an attitude that won fans in Nialler9, An Nóta Ard, and Hot Press Magazine and resulted in airtime on BBC Radio Foyle, Dublin City FM, KCLR and Highland Radio.
Achievements that hold significant weight when contextualised against the backdrop of a small town mentality that shuns progressive art and the isolating experience of creating forward facing music in rural Ireland which was further underscored by the national lockdown. However, not to be discouraged by conditions out of his control, Arn. took the extra time granted in 2020 to up his game and fine tune his sound.
“I was releasing a song every 2 weeks at the start of 2021. I Did like 11 I think. That was me on overdrive. It was fun, the creative flow never lapsed but I had no time to do any other music content such as music videos etc. Had to stop then to focus on the bigger picture.”
Now, with a number of singles under his belt and an appetite to bring Letterkenny to the world, Arn. is gearing up to be next up on Ireland’s conveyor belt of DIY trailblazers.