Colm O’Mahony & The Hot Touches, in my view, are one of the few recent bands that truly capture the essence of the golden era of music and skillfully infuse it with modern elements. Their debut single “Damage” was released on April 19th, heralding the emergence of new rock icons. Let’s delve into their music.

“Damage” is available on all streaming services and there is an official music video on YouTube. The video is truly remarkable, especially with its captivating filming and editing that evoke strong emotions while enjoying the music. While I appreciate the emotional vocals, precise riffs, and seamless bass and drum coordination in the song, what stands out for me is the nostalgic sound of the guitar. The guitar solo instantly caught my ear and brought back memories of legendary acts from the 70s and 80s.

Upon further investigation of the press information, it was revealed that he was present at Queen’s legendary Live Aid performance in July 1985, at just 4 years old. It seems his destiny was decided at that moment. “I can’t remember the 1986 World Cup,” says Mahony, “but I can remember Live Aid. I remember it was a hot day, and the way my brothers were just talking about it and talking about it. And, of course, I remember Freddie Mercury.”

O’Mahony was attracted to rock and pop music on the radio, defying his brothers to listen to their record collections and developing his own musical taste. “I had to travel quite far to buy actual records and tapes,” he recalls, “so the bulk of my tastes were shaped by the radio — songs by people like Tom Petty and Bob Seger, who were so effortless that they made songwriting seem like the most natural thing. And with Petty, for example, you would really go somewhere while listening to one of his songs. It also had a really big impact when I discovered Irish artists like Luke Kelly & The Dubliners, Paddy Reilly, Liam Clancy, and Bagatelle.”

Attending a Bruce Springsteen concert sparked O’Mahony’s mission from a seed planted by music. “I’m not a spiritual person, but seeing Bruce Springsteen was the closest thing I’ve ever had to a spiritual experience. I was converted immediately, and it completely changed the direction of my life. Within like 6 months, I started playing guitar and singing in bars. I’d been in a pretty bad place in my life at the time. My dad passed away when I was 19, and I’d been doing drugs before then anyway. But that moment just gave me a bit of light and, just as important, a direction.”

Colm O’Mahony & The Hot Touches captures the essence of life in compact rock expressions. Hailing from Killarney, Ireland, a town rich in diverse music, O’Mahony creates songs reflecting shared moments and universal themes. The upcoming debut album offers a mix of rock, singer-songwriter tunes, and ballads with a humble and relatable touch, aiming for pub comfort over grandiosity. Cannot wait indeed. Cheers to that!