Almost a week ago now, Lola Amour released their highly anticipated debut album.

It’s a record that they have promised and worked on for the last five years, but only kicked into full production after the whirlwind success of “Raining In Manila”. 

Since the release of the anthemic five-minute pop song, the band have been on quite a ride, from going on a highly sought-after nationwide tour to topping local streaming charts to getting recognised by K-pop’s biggest stars to going out for their first overseas performance to sharing a stage with Coldplay. In just a year, “Raining In Manila” changed the trajectory of the band and broke them through to the masses. 

Even though the song’s massive popularity pressured the band to scrap and rework their initial draft of the album, “Raining In Manila” presented the band the opportunity to live out their biggest dream. And with that, the world finally has Lola Amour’s first album. 

Courtesy of Warner Music Philippines

The eponymous record sees nine tracks, all of which collectively showcase the very best of Lola Amour’s artistry. It sees the band take on an array of sounds as they thread between funky rock songs that have you chanting along to acoustic ballads that feel a little heavy on the heart. 

While the band’s sonic arrangements are always a treat to the ears, there’s always been something special about the stories they share. While the world is familiar with the bittersweet message in “Raining In Manila” about missing friends who have moved away, Lola Amour dig deeper into tales of the heart across the album’s tracklist. 

Courtesy of Warner Music Philippines

On one side of the album, you have tracks like “This Ain’t Love” that was written almost a decade ago. It talks about the bubbling feelings of a new possible romance against a sweet and delicate melody you can’t help but bop your head to. 

“The song, ‘This Ain’t Love’ was written in 2015, I never thought it would make it to 2024,” the band’s frontman, Pio Dumayas tells Billboard Philippines. “It was just one of my Soundcloud songs [that I made] as an outlet, so it’s kind of weird my thoughts from 2015 in such a modern setting.”

Courtesy of Warner Music Philippines

While another side of the album has songs like “Part II: Bliss”, a revealing ballad about losing a friend to suicide. It’s considerably one of Lola Amour’s most personal track yet, wanting to immortalize a beloved friend the best way they knew how. 

“There’s a lot of songs I’m happy that made it [into the album],” says Dumayas. “[‘Part II: Bliss’] is about a friend who had a battle with depression and he took his own life. The way he described his depression, I tried to put them into words. It was just a way for me to deal with the fact that he was gone; I think that same day, I wrote this. So, this is for him.”

Courtesy of Warner Music Philippines

Lola Amour, the album, also comes at pivotal time for the band. While it marks the end of a project that’s been five years in the making, it also signifies a new chapter for the band — one that sees a new lineup and a new focus on expanding their presence across Asia.

Before the album’s release, the band’s longtime bassist Raymond King announced his departure from Lola Amour, sharing that he wanted to pursue other endeavors. “I’m mostly excited because honestly, I’ve been wanting to go for a while but at the same time, may kalungkutan rin [there’s sadness] because I’ve known these guys for so long, ” says King. “It’s hard to go, but sometimes you have to choose other things. So, it’s bittersweet.”

Courtesy of Warner Music Philippines

“I think it’s a great way to close a chapter of the band. For the longest time, we’ve been dreading seeing Raymond go because not only musically but he also handles a lot of logistical work and finances of the band. Siya talaga ang hardest worker; hindi na siya natutulog [He’s the hardest working, he doesn’t sleep], it’s a lot to ask of him so when he’s gone, there’s a big hole we have to fill. For the longest time we haven’t been ready but he has taught us all that we know and I think we’re ready,” add Dumayas.

Now with an album finally under their belt, Lola Amour have a lot in store. Following their grand album launch in Makati last April 11, the band are set to embark on another nationwide tour for their album — starting with Cebu this coming April 27 — and possibly several performances across Southeast Asia. While nothing is exactly set in stone just yet, the band shares there’s so much to look forward to.

“This is an exciting time for the band. We’re grateful to everyone who’s supported us; there’s a lot more coming,” says Dumayas.