Lola Marsh

Opposites Attract

Yael Cohen and Gil Landau have explored every facet of their relationship. Musically, romantically, and creatively, their journey together has been a bumpy road trip across vast artistic terrain and the results are the off beat, dream-induced pop sounds of Lola Marsh. The Israeli indie band is a classic case of opposites attract, as the two found common ground in making music. Complete with a rocky start, the two have survived a romantic relationship, a breakup, and touring in a tiny van for several months across the globe. Lola Marsh became their anchor, as their self-released EP single “You’re Mine” had an impressive debut and rose to quick success. The music video of You’re Mine, depicts the relationship fairly accurately. In a desert landscape, the two are isolated and are caught playing games in a constant, yet affectionate power struggle. As Gil and Yael navigate the chess game of their relationship, the results have been to the benefit of listening ears looking for a fresh sound. Lola Marsh released their first album this year, Remember Roses, and as they reach a new stage in their music career, the relationship has evolved to a new level as well. Between the bickering is a familial connection filled with respect and heartfelt adoration for each other that transcends their relationship and fuels the spirit of their music.

I heard you both met at a party and suddenly began playing together. Can you describe that evening?

Gil: It pretty much was that- a birthday party. Yael crashed—
Yael: Nah, I was invited!
G: You weren’t invited! Come on—
Y: Actually, I came with a friend. He was invited and I came with him.
G: Yeah, the friend invited her, so okay, she was invited! Yeah, so I started playing music with my old, battered guitar. And she just started singing, and it was pretty much magic. All the people in room vanished and it was only the two of us. It was really special. We just decided, ‘let’s do something.’ We don’t know what, we don’t know how, but let’s just meet and try to do something.
Y: Mm-hmm. Exactly what he said.

Where did the name Lola Marsh originate from?

Y: Ah, I wanna answer that!
G: Go for it!
Y: I remember, after a couple of months, we had like five or six songs. And we decided to have a show and perform. I remember we were really excited and afraid about it and we needed a name to invite people to come! We did sit with our friends and “Lola Marsh” just came up—
G: We searched for something feminine and something masculine.
Y: We had combinations of words that we love, but actually we needed a name where the sound of the name suited us. And Lola Marsh was like, ah! The name we’ve been searching for! We didn’t ask why, we just went for it. We were in China a few months ago, and a Chinese lady told us “You know, the sound of Lola Marsh sounds like romantic poetry.” And we are romantic people, so it suited us.

You guys must have a lot of conflict. Is the push and pull good for you artistically?

Y: I can say we are very, very different people. We see the world in a different way. Of course, sometimes it brings big conflict, arguments, and fights, and we are both really dramatic, so sometimes we overreact. But toward the music, it challenges us, and it’s interesting for us. It’s amazing. Of course, it’s hard for other band members.
G: It gets really intense, being together for almost two months everyday in the van, in the hotel, then in the show—
Y: And being the only girl.
G: Yeah, [her] being the only girl. A lot of energy inside a little van. Everybody needs a lot of patience with each other, especially me and Yael.

Has working together in that way made you a better person?
G: Wow, we just talked about it.
Y: Yeah, actually before this interview, we had a chat and he said this exact sentence.
G: You know, it’s a challenge. I think challenges in life, at the end of the day, they’re good and you’re just growing from them.

What do you feel are the factors that make your collaboration work?
G: For me basically, it’s the writing process. I wrote songs with a lot of people during my life, and something about the writing process with Yael is challenging. We’re both coming from the same world, but whole different worlds. So everyone gives their own world to the writing process. And something about it is pure magic for me with Yael.
Y: I agree, and I think it is something about us being so different from each other. My head is in the sky, and Gil is a bit on the earth, and sometimes it’s a good combination. Not only about the writing process, I can say it about all the processes. It’s a good combination, our characters together.

Text Zee Chang
Photography Jena Cumbo
Hair and Makeup Laura Mitchell
for Mac makeup and Oribe Haircare