Lola Marsh Wants to Be More Than Just Your Summer Fling

Jerome Corpuz

The Israeli folk-pop duo talks their origin story, sound, and style inspirations.

Yael Cohen and Gil Landau met through a friend in Tel Aviv in 2011 and fell in love when they performed an impromptu duet of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” at his birthday party. “There was magic between us,” Cohen remembers. Soon after, the Israelis became a couple—and a band.

They are now both 33 years old and known as Lola Marsh. (The name is simply a random mix of words, Cohen has said.) They’ve racked up 21 million streams since their debut song “Sirens” and album Remember Roses, booked a nonstop international tour schedule, and are the darlings of the European summer music festival circuit. They are getting used to what “on tour” means outside Tel Aviv. “In Israel, that lasts a week,” Cohen jokes. “Indie music has a smaller market in Israel because we are only nine million people,” says Landau. “But we’ve got chutzpah!”

Their sound: equal parts Sufjan Stevens folk and orchestral-pop Kate Bush. Their creative inspirations: Wes Anderson, Elvis Presley, Pink Floyd, the movie The Never Ending Story, and the American realist painter Bo Bartlett. Their fashion inspirations are also far-flung. “We just found a picture from our first show. I basically dressed up like a cowboy,” admits Landau, who now opts for a sleeker, Saint Laurent–esque uniform of leather jackets and boots. Cohen goes for tomboy jackets and flowy pants, she says, noting the most obvious thing about her look: She’s mistaken for Penelope Cruz “every two days.”

Though they split up as a couple last year, their music keeps them on solid footing as friends. “Of course, we’re exes,” says Cohen. “But it’s an amazing feeling for me to have these intense feelings every day on tour and to be emotional with the person that I loved, and to take it to our music. We had our time and now we get to make songs about all of that.”