Second albums are supposed to be the tricky ones, but not for Lola Marsh. Everything about making Someday Tomorrow Maybe felt easier for the Israeli indie-pop band headed by singer Yael Shoshanna Cohen and multi-instrumentalist Gil Landau. Their sophomore effort, a collection of 12 gorgeous new songs full of compelling hooks, "is more tightly focused," Cohen says, and Landau agrees: “The sound and melodies are more cohesive."

A shorter timeline is a big reason why. The band’s first album, Remember Roses, was the product of nearly five years of writing songs, recording and, at the most basic level, getting to know each other and developing a level of comfort and trust. By contrast, the pair spent just three months writing songs for Someday Tomorrow Maybe, due January 24 via Barclay/Verve Forecast/Anova Music. They worked quickly not because they were in a hurry, but because there was no need to spend as much time searching for a sound. Cohen and Landau had already zeroed in on what they wanted.

“The first album, we had so many ideas, and it was a little bit like, ‘Let’s do everything,’” Cohen says. “The second one was, ‘OK, we know already what we want to say and what Lola Marsh is.’ There are so many beautiful sounds and styles, but not every one of these things is Lola Marsh.”

What Lola Marsh is, Cohen says, is “romantic, nostalgic and a little bit cinematic.” The New York Times agrees, having praised the band for “sweeping, cinematic music dripping in retro charm and reverb.” It’s there in the urgent surf-y guitars and handclap beat framing her vast vocals on “Echoes,” the sleek and sexy first single from Someday Tomorrow Maybe, or in the searching melody Cohen sings over resonant, chiming percussion and spacious sonics on “Give Me Some Time.” Lola Marsh balances the soaring numbers with quieter, more intimate tunes: Landau sings in a ghostly whisper behind Cohen’s subdued lead vocal, and the pair sing close, quiet harmonies over simple acoustic guitar on “Strangers on the Subway,” which wouldn’t have sounded out of place in a Greenwich Village folk club circa 1963.

Throughout, the songs are stylish and evocative, blending a vintage sensibility with modern touches. “One of the most important things for us when we are writing is to get these melodies that sound timeless, like maybe you’ve heard it before, but it’s new,” Cohen says.

Making the album over a much shorter period helped Cohen and Landau maintain a more consistent tone in the creative process as they wrote together, inspired in part by the evolution of their own relationship as collaborators and, for a time, romantic partners. “A lot of it was inspired by us and our relationship,” Cohen says. “It was like some kind of medicine, to capture things we’ve been through and put it inside of a song, and it’ll stay there forever.”

Working so closely together over such a short period of time provided an immediacy to the process that paid off. “When you write a song, like, five years ago and then you go to record it, you’re trying to remember the way you felt,” Landau says. “This album talks more about the way we’re feeling now. It feels like it captured the moment.”

Part of capturing the moment meant drawing inspiration from the band’s live show, where their connection with the audience is crucial. Cohen and Landau wrote “Echoes” with that connection in mind. “We knew we wanted a song that would get the crowd to clap,” Landau says. “And the first time we performed it, we saw the crowd automatically clapping, and it was like ‘OK, we nailed it.’”

Yael and Gil were strangers when they first started singing together on a cover of “Jolene” at Landau’s birthday party in 2011. It wasn’t long before they formed Lola Marsh and began honing their sound on demo recordings and in clubs around Tel Aviv. The duo, backed now by Dekel Dvir on drums, Mati Gilad on bass and Ran Gil on keyboards, released the EP You’re Mine in 2016, and their first LP, Remember Roses, the following year, amassing more than 40 million streams online and drawing praise from NPR, Paste Magazine, NYLON, Observer, Interview magazine and more. They’ve toured extensively, including spots at major festivals including Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Montreux in Switzerland, and South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. They co-wrote a song for the 2016 Kevin Costner film Criminal and recorded a cover of Frank Sinatra’s “Something Stupid” for the AMC series Better Call Saul in 2018.

“That gave us a lot of confidence,” Landau says. “We realized that we didn’t need to wait to find the right sound engineer or the right producer because we know what we want to say and we know what the sound is supposed to be like.”

The confidence is evident throughout Someday Tomorrow Maybe, which never sounds like anything less than a band in full command of its musical abilities. “We just knew what we wanted to do,” says Landau. “It feels like we’ve fulfilled our dream.”

Krijg het laatste FrontView Magazine nieuws in je Facebook nieuwsoverzicht: