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Lola Marsh Unleashes A Uke-Fueled Charm Offensive

Put them together, and singer Yael Shoshana Cohen and multi-instrumentalist Gil Landau mount a charm offensive powerful enough to knock down some pretty sturdy defenses. Performing as Lola Marsh, the Israeli musicians distill their sound down to a small set of spare, ingratiating ingredients. In the case of "Wishing Girl," those building blocks are simple but potent: a whistled hook, Landau's briskly strummed ukulele and Cohen's voice, which dispenses sweetly plainspoken lines like, "You are my lonely star / And I'm, I'm your wishing girl."

The video for "Wishing Girl" has a stylish and playful aesthetic to match the song, though its plot is far more involved than the words might suggest. Writing via email, its director, Gal Muggia, describes the piece as "a story told through a circular frame. It's a 'boy meets girl' tale with a twist — seasoned with life, death, inter-dimensional travel and, of course, a hint of aliens."

"Wishing Girl" appears on Lola Marsh's forthcoming album, Remember Roses, out June 9 via Verve.

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)