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"We sit together and we write songs together, and it can start from one sentence, from some lyrics or a chord progression or even a beat that we are doing on the computer—but it's really fluid, you know, there are no rules," says Gil Landau, from Lola Marsh | Photo: Samantha Annis
"We sit together and we write songs together, and it can start from one sentence, from some lyrics or a chord progression or even a beat that we are doing on the computer—but it's really fluid, you know, there are no rules," says Gil Landau, from Lola Marsh | Photo: Samantha Annis
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Lola Marsh: Music is the soundtrack of our lives

Metronome Festival is a magical event, not only for the rich program and the many stages where artists from any genre perform, but also because the atmosphere is special. This year, after a two-year break due to the pandemic, it was clear people wanted to get connected again. And Lola Marsh answered everyone's needs. The band performed fantastically on the 24th, on the main stage of Metronome: a vibrant gig, you could feel the good vibes and good energy coming from them. Started more than 10 years ago by the guitarist Gil Landau and the singer Yael Shoshana Cohen, their music is warming and embracing, but at the same time expresses happiness and the will to live. I had a quick talk with them, where they shared some thoughts about their band, and their future.

I was curious about the name of your band. Is there a particular reason why you chose it?

G: I think once she (Yael) referred to it as connected to a childhood dream…

Y: Actually, it just sounded really cool. We were sitting with a bunch of friends. We had a show, and we didn't have a name for the band. And then, I don't know, we just went for it.

G: And then actually, while we had a gig in China, we discovered something interesting. A Chinese girl told us that, in Mandarin, it means romantic poetry. So that was like karma, you know, like, “alright, it's very cool!” Maybe we decided nicely.

How did this project get started?

G: Yael came to my birthday party around 10 years ago, I think. And then we just started playing covers of Dolly Parton and Foo Fighters and Disney songs. And there was an immediate connection. It was like all the room disappeared, you know, like a fairy tale. The rest is history.

Y: The rest is history. We met in 2011, but it took us time to write the songs, to find and know each other, you know, and to find the other band members.

How did you get out of your country?

Y: Probably the fact that we write songs in English helped us.

G: There were a couple of festivals that invited us to perform, and they invited us before we had anything out, any release, you know?

Y: We were like a concert band for a long, long time. We didn't have anything outside, any songs.

What at first inspired you to make music. What was your first inspiration?

Y: First for me, was the sound of music. Like the musical. I really liked it as a child.

G: For me, I think, my girlfriend broke up with me, when I was 21 years old and I was like, “Oh, alright, I'm going to write songs about it.” Before that, I just played for fun with friends.

Which music did you listen to in your childhood?

G: I listened a lot to prog rock, like Pink FloydBeatlesKing Crimson.

Y: Alanis Morrisette

G: Yeah and then actually I discovered Alanis Morrisette, Norah Jones...

Y: Spice Girls!

G: Disney. A lot of sound soundtracks. Westerns.

Because what I get from your music is that it is really mixed—different genres, punk and country, western and jazz.

G: We're exploring, you know, why obligate ourselves to follow only one genre, fuck that shit!

Y: Yeah. We're just having fun.

And how would you define or describe your music?

G: Emotional, cinematic, romantic… I think something to drive with, you know?

Y: Nostalgic, but maybe optimistic as well. Many people are telling me that the songs are making them happy, so it does have positive vibes too.

How is your creative process?

G: It's always changing, you know, we sit together and we write songs together, and it can start from one sentence, from some lyrics or a chord progression or even a beat that we are doing on the computer—but it's really fluid, you know, there are no rules.

Y: Sometimes Gil is writing something, some other times I'm writing something. We complete each other.

I'd like to ask since your first album was released in 2017, a moment before all the chaos started—did COVID and the pandemic affect your music or your artistic career?

G: Of course, we released our second album in January 2020, and then we went in March for a big European tour, which sold out. We just did like seven shows or something, and then we had to go back for quarantine. So, it was a bummer.

Y: It was very sad…

G: We were sad enough about it, but you know, we needed to look at the bright side.

Y: The bright side is we recorded a new album. Not right at the beginning of the pandemic, but eventually we started to write.

G: Yeah. We recorded another album, and it's going to be released in October.

What do you listen to nowadays, among contemporary artists?

G: I’m listening to a lot of genres, like The WeekndOlivia RodrigoTaylor SwiftSharon Van EttenBig ThiefPhoebe BridgersThe War on DrugsBon Iver

Y: Sufjan Stevens

G: A lot of stuff.

Would you like to collaborate with somebody?

G: All the guys that I mentioned right now! If you read this, come and collaborate with us, please.

Y: Thank you, please!

Does your music relate to Dreampop?

G: We love Air or Beach House…we really like the genre.

Y: For sure. The dreamy vibe, the omnichord, the bells, everything related to it.

Do you use some gear or effects for vocals or guitar?

G: Of course. I'm using a lot of reverb, delay and phaser, in order to create a psychedelic dreamy vibe. And a lot of keyboard sounds.

Y: I like to use reverb on my voice as well. And slap delay a little bit. We like it a little bit vintage sometimes.

Is there a turning point, sound-wise, regarding your new unreleased record?

G: Actually, we released three weeks ago our first single from the next album, “Love Me on the Phone,” and it's really different. It's like more 80s pop. But you know, in the album, again, we're exploring a lot of genres.

Y: Yeah. It's very dynamic.

G: We love to make wide ballads and get this dreamy vibe…

Y: Maybe a little bit more poppish.

G: We have some disco vibes as well a little bit on the next album. So, there is a lot to expect.

Do you have any updates about some gigs or other upcoming events?

G: Of course! We're going to perform next in July, and we will have a lot of festivals in Europe, around Switzerland, Austria, Spain and Germany. We're going to play at the Electric Castle festival, it's quite big, and the Sziget festival in August. So, we are really excited about these festivals!

Will you eventually do some tour in Israel as well?

G: We have a couple of shows in Israel and then again in October in Europe, a little bit. A lot to come.

The very last thing Gil and Yael, what do you think music should do today? What do you think the role or the function of music is today?

G: Its role, I think, since the beginning of times, is to connect people and to make them move together or get emotional together.

Y: Or even not together, even maybe alone. Just to change your mood. Like when I'm sad and I hear a song, suddenly I can be happy from it. So, it's like magic. But also, it connects people as well. It's very important. Mostly during the pandemic, we have realized that.

G: I have another thing. I think music, at the end of the day, is the soundtrack of our lives. You know, every moment you've had, your first kiss, your first drive, your first event with your family… there is a song connected to it that immediately reminds me of that special moment.

Lola Marsh Promo Pic - Credits Dor Sharon

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I am a musician and music journalist based in Prague. 42 is also the name of my project founded in 2008, experimental Dada music with a touch of noise. My latest album,…