Coachella leads the pack when it comes to innovative lineups. Two of its top-billed artists (Harry Styles and Billie Eilish) are under 30, while further down the carefully curated bill you’ll find some of the buzziest new acts around – Koffee, Amyl and the Sniffers, Rina Sawayama – mingling with old school staples such as Spiritualized and The Avalanches.
But with so many great bands on the bill, it’s hard to know where to start. So if you’re in Indio for either Weekend 1 (15-17 April) or Weekend 2 (22-24 April), here are the 12 acts you won’t want to miss.
Formed in 2016, Mongolian metal band The Hu are a phenomenon. The Independent wrote in a 2020 live review: “Their melding of traditional Mongolian throat singing (“khoomei”) with modern elements of rock, metal and even pop (a few members are massive Coldplay fans) is like nothing the UK has seen before. But if you think their music feels ancient, you wouldn’t be wrong: The Hu are building on a sound that’s been around for thousands of years.” They are, predictably, an extraordinary thing to witness live. Don’t miss it.
Grammy-nominated British artist Arlo Parks has the perfect sound for a hot, hazy day in California. The instrumentation is drawn-out, languorous; her voice is a dreamy, blissful whisper. While the songs tackle heavy themes, such as depression, anxiety and unrequited love, there’s an anthemic quality to many. Perfect for festivals.
The mega-massive pop star is headlining both Coachella and Glastonbury this year – not bad for a 20-year-old with just two albums to her name. She brought the house down when she performed to a packed field at Worthy Farm in 2019. Expect this to be bigger, better… Billier.
This Los Angeles group have been flying under the radar for a while – hopefully Coachella will get them a whole bunch of new fans. Their sound is sultry, late-night R&B with squelchy beats and singer “V” delivering lyrics in a husky croon.
Described by The Independent as “one of the boldest voices in pop”, the Japan-born London-based Rina Sawayama throws a load of glitter over industrial, nu-metal instrumentation. It’s a heady mix of jagged guitar riffs, furiously buzzing synths and slick Nineties-style pop and R&B. Her self-titled album came out last year and she’s also collaborated with the likes of Charli XCX and Elton John. Hopefully she might perform her superb cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” at Coachella, too.
Phoebe Bridgers is what you might call an understated performer. She manages to captivate her audience with minimal fuss, focusing on the music rather than over-the-top declarations. Think fatalistic lyrics, pummelling percussion and squalls of brass. Prepare yourself for the scream on the epic “I Know the End”.
Dave always puts on an amazing show, but you can bet he’ll go one further when he’s representing the British rap contingent Stateside. Expect him to perform tracks from 2021’s We’re All Alone in This Together, which received unanimous acclaim from critics and topped the charts in the UK.
Still going strong, the British synth-pop nerds should go down a storm in the California desert with crowd-pleasers like the crunchy “Over and Over”, and bouncing “Ready for the Floor”. Then you have their 2019 album, Bath Full of Ecstasy, and its euphoria-inducing single, “Melody of Love”. Let the dancing commence!
Still only 22, Jamaican singer and rapper Koffee managed to catch the attention of Rihanna, Protoje and Chronixx, all before the release of her debut album, Gifted. Released just last month, it’s a sauntering blend of breezy, Afrobeats-nodding tunes, indie jams and empowering reggae anthems.
The Italian Eurovision 2021 champions are a total riot, and live performances live up to the hype. Since they won the annual Song Contest, they’ve toured with Guns N’ Roses, had a few Top 10 hits, and picked up a few rock’n’roll tips along the way. Expect plenty of leather and over-the-top rock posturing from frontman, Damiano David.
Bilingual Mexican-American singer Omar Apollo will have just released his debut album, Ivory, by the time he takes to the stage at Coachella. He excels at the R&B slow-jam (see, “Killing Me” and the bassy “Hit Me Up”), and just released his Pharrell collaboration, the sizzling “Tamagotchi”. Things are about to heat up.
The Soundcloud rapper has matured since he first broke through, aged 18, with his debut Amen. There’s a newly playful sound to more recent tracks, such as last year’s viral “Edamame” with Canadian rapper bbno$, and “New Tooth”, with its woozy synth line and Rich Brian’s staccato delivery.
Via (Yahoo News)