Lola Marsh is an Israeli indie-pop band from Tel Aviv. They formed back in 2013 and their light folk sound quickly caught the attention of Anova Music where they got signed. I got to chat with the indie-pop duo about how the group was formed, what it felt like to quickly get signed, and more.
TYF: Can you tell us a little bit about how you formed Lola Marsh? Where did the band name come from?
Lola Marsh: It was about six years ago. We were both searching for partners to make music with.
It was at Gil’s birthday party, where we first played together and instantly felt that there was a strong connection. We met a few times, and it just clicked, like magic. We wrote and recorded so many demos, and performed all around Tel Aviv as a duo. After about a year or so we started looking for additional musicians to expand our sound. Soon we were joined by Mati Gilad (Bass), Rami Osservaser (Guitars & keyboards), Dekel Dvir (Drums). We found a true family in these guys, they are truly phenomenal at what they do and are also great people.
We searched for a name for quite a long time, at first we thought about calling the project by our own names but felt it wasn’t right. We realized that we wanted to create a new entity that will not be Yaeli or Gil but a combination of the two of us. It actually started as a private joke when Yaeli always wanted to have the March rhythm in like every song, and Lola just came along. Something about this name just felt right – so we just went for it.
TYF: Shortly after creating the band, you guys were signed by Anova Music. What was that feeling like?
Lola Marsh: It was kinda like in the movies. It was our third show as a band in this small venue in Tel Aviv, and right after the show, the guys from the label came to us and said they wanted to sign us. We remember the adrenalin rush and the excitement. We were so Indie in the beginning and did everything by ourselves, and the thought that there will be a crew that will be working with us on our project was an incredible feeling.
TYF: When the band initially formed, did you guys already know that you wanted to stick with a folk, romantic sound?
Lola Marsh: The folk brought us together so you can definitely hear it in our music, we are also very fond of soundtracks, so in our songs, we tried to create a cinematic – classic vibe from the writing process to the arrangements and production. We are also romantic-nostalgic-dramatic human beings and maybe you can hear it in the album too!
TYF: Who are some of your musical influences?
Lola Marsh: We both really love old classic music, the moody blues, Elvis, Edith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg, and many more, we also get inspired by amazing artists such as Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, tame impala and more.
TYF: You guys have traveled all over the world and have played at a multitude of different venues. What are some venues you have played at that have been some of your favorites?
Lola Marsh: That’s such a hard question because in every venue there is something special! If it’s a small intimate venue or a huge concert hall or the main stage at a festival, the people and the connection are the most important thing. We have so many great memories and adventures from concerts all around Europe and the states!
For example, I remember when we just started touring and all 5 of us had to sleep in one room with bunk beds!! We had one shower for the whole floor! We had a very fun night!
Another good memory –
It was at Pohoda festival in Slovakia.
We played this festival 3 times. And the first time we played there I met a Slovak girl. (Her name is Nina and she wants to be a singer!)
She was 12 when I first met her. She came to me after the show and we talked. After that, We stayed in close touch through Facebook, writing to each other, long letters, kind of like a pen pal. the second time we met, I took her backstage and we had a serious girl talk and became real friends. I don’t know why, but I felt so open with her and told her secrets and shared with her my personal life.
The third time we met – I decided that she’s joining us on stage to sing. A few months beforehand, she posted on Facebook a cover she did to one of our songs – “remember roses.”
The amazing thing about it was that this song was not out yet, later on when I asked her how she knew this song, she told me she had a video from one of our concerts and she just guessed the lyrics from hearing it over and over. It was so cute and touching. So at our 3rd time at the festival- in front of thousands of people I called Nina to come on stage and sing “remember roses” with me. This girl reminds me of something I sometimes forget. The power in dreaming and believing in ourselves. It was such a strong moment in the show, I think most of the crowd cried. And I will never ever forget this moment.
We are still in touch, of course, writing to each other and being pen pals on Facebook!
TYF: I always love learning about how the music scene varies from one major city to another. Can you tell us what the music scene is like in Tel Aviv? What sort of music is popular there right now?
Lola Marsh: The music scene in Tel Aviv is very wide and changing all the time. You have everything! folk, electronic, hip-hop, pop, rock ..all in a great combination of east and west colors and vibes. We really love an Israeli singer-songwriter named Evyatar Banai, his songs are deeply beautiful and edgy. Also, you should check out Israeli bands such as “Less Acrobats”, “Garden city movement” “Tzlil Danin”, and “Daniela Spector”, and generally check out Israeli artist, there are so many great musicians!
TYF: What was it like putting together your debut EP, “You’re Mine”?
Lola Marsh: We started writing music together about 6 years ago. We wrote a lot and worked very hard to find the common color that we both felt connected to. We have given up many songs on the way, and some of the songs have become part of what we are today.
When we started working on the album, we worked on many songs in parallel, and slowly the album became more and more clear and felt like something complete. When most of the album was ready, we decided to release the EP before, to give the audience and ourselves a taste of this thing called Lola Marsh.
After we released the EP, we wrote a few more songs and added them to the album.
TYF: Were there are major differences when it came to your writing process when you were putting together your EP versus putting together your full album?
Lola Marsh: We can not put our finger on a big change between the work on the album and the EP, because they were actually created at the same time.
TYF: What was the last song you wrote for your album, “Remember Roses”? What is the story behind the track?
Lola Marsh: The last song we wrote on the album was “Remember Roses”, which is actually the title of the album. The song talks about Yael’s memories from her childhood home, about the rose garden she had in her backyard, her childhood and the past. We talk about these subjects a lot in the album. Nostalgia, dreams, acceptance of the past, etc. That’s why we decided to use the name of this song for the album’s title. It felt right.
TYF: How do you guys usually prep for a show?
Lola Marsh: It’s funny because we just talked about it during our last tour. We’ve played as a band for about 4 years. We had all kinds of things that we used to do before shows, but for some reason, none remained and became a ritual. We talked about how we must find something that’ll stick.
For example, before a gig, each one of us would stand on a chair and sing a song he wanted. It was funny and liberating. Sometimes we sing a song that we love in harmonies.
TYF: Speaking of 2018, will you guys be releasing new music this year?
Lola Marsh: We just finished a month and a half tour. We are now in Israel for two months and we write almost every day new material. We hope to release something soon.
TYF: Lastly, if you can create a mini playlist for our readers to check out, what would be the top 5 songs you would include in that playlist?
Lola Marsh: The Moody Blues – Nights in White Satin
Arctic Monkeys – I Wanna be Yours
Sufjan Stevens – The Only Thing
Bob Dylan – Girl from the North Country
Chris Isaak – Wicked Games
You can listen to Lola Marsh’s music here.