Lola Amour Grows Up for Self-Titled Debut Album

On April 27 at Draft Punk, in the summer heat, Filipino rock band Lola Amour performed for their die-hard Cebuano fans in celebration of their self-titled debut album. Appearing as opening acts were local bands The Sundown and Mandaue Nights.

Blending past radio hits like “Raining in Manila” and “Fallen” and fresh cuts such as “This Ain’t Love” and “Saan Kakapit” into their setlist, attendees of the album launch experienced the familiar tunes that put the band on the map and the new sounds they’re experimenting.

During their press conference at lyf Cebu City, the seven-man band—alongside their sessionists—discussed the process they delved into for the album, finding inspiration from genres like funk and alternative music. Although they share how the album still resembles the “Lola Amour” experiences their fans and the general music-listening public have come to know and love, the band expresses their willingness to seek out the kinds of music to express themselves.

“We never really made a body of work with this many [songs] in one go, so it gave us an opportunity to explore other sounds, not just the sounds that our audiences are used to,” said Pio Dumayas, Lola Amour’s lead vocalist. “So in this album, we treated it like a playground.”

But the striking feature of their album is the maturing of the perspectives they are willing to sing about. Dumayas notes how their new album progresses from the banging dance tracks like “Umiinit” and “Namimiss Ko Na” to the “serious, complex, sad, emotional” string of songs, which includes the doubt-filled “If I Ever Come Back”. In the new album are two songs related to mental health, “Lost For Words” and “Part II: Bliss”.

What is definitely maturing, according to keyboardist David Yuhico, is their creativity, citing the stripped-back arrangement in “This Ain’t Love” and the inclusion of string instruments, as well as flute and harmonica. “It’s a lot of weird things, but I think that’s like the growth of the creative part of the writing process.”

But the band also believes that what they’re singing about is evolving as well. When asked during the press conference about what feelings and emotions Lola Amour wanted listeners to take away after hearing the album, lead vocalist Dumayas said: “For the album, I think it was our way of showing people that we can also tackle these deeper topics.”

“We started exploring these topics that are more mature, I guess,” Dumayas continued. “We wanted to show the maturity of the band. Like if you compare it [the new album] to our first EP (Don’t Look Back, released in 2017), and if you compare our [past] songwriting to now, it’s very different.”

Jeff Abueg, the band’s saxophone player, puts the pin on the topic of the band’s growth and changes that culminated through their newest release. Throughout the band’s existence, members have come and gone, leading to possible shifts in their sound. He wants to let their audience know that they have “matured creative-wise, especially with the line-up changes, the music that we produce is evolving. So we want to show the fans that, despite the line-up changes, we’ll continue to grow.’

Photography Kyrra Kho

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