For those who had “Madonna‘s firstborn kicks off her music career with a drum-and-bass track” on your 2022 Bingo cards, come claim your prize. Lourdes “Lola” Leon, the 25-year-old daughter of Madonna, 64, and Carlos Leon, 56, dropped her debut song, “Lock & Key,” on Wednesday (Aug. 24) under her new stage name, Lolahol. She also released a music video, one that saw Lolahol take a page out of her mother’s book by rocking a provocative outfit–specifically, a pair of nipple pasties with a Kylie Minogue-esque silvery jumpsuit (they seem to be en vogue at the moment.) Towards the end of the video, Lolahol enjoys a full mermaid fantasy by frolicking the crashing waves while wearing a fishnet and a top woven out of a discarded piece of rope.
Musically, “Lock & Key” is quite an unexpected surprise. Lolahol’s debut incorporates jungle breakbeats, a sound first pioneered in the early 90s UK Rave scene (which would lead to the rise of drum and bass in the middle of the decade.) The song, as Rolling Stone noted, uses elements of trip-hop, and Lolahol’s ethereal vocals dance between the line of bedroom pop and dark alt-pop, as she seems to exist between the planes. While Lourdes’ mother is no stranger to the dance floor — she, in fact, just released a massive collection of her fifty No. 1 dance tracks — not many would expect Lolahol’s first outing to be “Amen” break-inspired track that glows with emotion.
“Why can’t I just lock into a Polly pocket,” she sings. “It could all be crystal clear / Keep a photo of you in my locket / addicted to the comfort / Till the comforter gets / too hot too hot to sleep / I’m tossing and tearing.”
The song — co-produced by the experimental artist Eartheater, Samuel Burgess, and Hara Kiri – is quite a stunning debut, and it wouldn’t be unusual to find it on Warp Records (actually, it’s on Chemical X, the label that Eartheater launched in August 2021.) Plus, with the 90s/early 2000s revival in play, “Lock & Key” might place Lolahol as a Cassandra in getting a jump start on a potential IDM resurgence.
This song is a surprise since Lourdes said in 2021 that she hadn’t any aspirations of following in her mother’s footsteps. As for music, I can sing. I just don’t care about it. Maybe it’s too close to home,” she said in an Interview magazine conversation with Debi Mazar. “I don’t have a specific goal. I probably should. Financially, modeling is a smart decision. I enjoy being very hands-on with the campaigns I do, so that I’m not just modeling, per se. I dance, I have a very specific sense of style, and I’m interested in aesthetics, so I like to incorporate all those parts of myself into my projects.”
“I want to create a world in which models have more agency over what they’re doing,” she added, “and they’re not just silent clothing racks. That’s the age that we’re coming into in the fashion world: models as personalities and artists.”