Review

Lapa Dula

Agua

Early Sounds • 2023

Alessandro La Padula has adopted the rather obvious pseudonym Lapa Dula, lives in Rome and is very fond of the Eighties. Not for the sunny side of the cult decade, but for everything that sounds like sepia, sandy beaches and carefreeness. »Agua« is the name of his first (mini-)album, the title track on which conjures up phantom tan lines right from the start: Synths from Café del Mar, funky guitars and demonstratively smarmy vocals whispered in ASMR style stretch your Speedos. The album is a tribute to the Naples of that time and its surroundings. On it La Padula also processes his childhood memories.  

They definitely sound better on the second track, as »Navigante« veers more towards pop and sounds less quotable. The chorus – even if this reviewer cannot understand the lyrics – and the break give Lapa Dula’s music the liveliness and structure it needs to plant its sonic memoirs in the listener’s head. »Sibilla« thus becomes tangible as a potential anthem to a teenage ex-girlfriend; the emotionality in the overdone synthesiser solo at the end has a credible rather than a sentimental character. And while »Ojni« may sound like the intro to a game show or the soundtrack to any Mario Party sequel, it also features vocals that perfectly link the here and now with more carefree times.