The Coachella Valley Music festival begins for its’ 17th year on the 10th of April and truly kicks off festival season with a bang!
Taking place in the California desert, Coachella is the most stylish date in the festival calender with many US based celebrities, models and fashionista’s in attendance. Unsurprisingly its’ also a fashion hotspot for super cool shades and enviable festival style. Of course, the real appeal of these sunshine filled weekend (Coachella takes place over two subsequent weekends throughout April) is the music and Coachella has been host to many great alternative acts in music history including the Wu Tang Clan, Arcade Fire, Snoop Dogg, Radiohead, The Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine, Beck, B Sunglasses Chilli Peppers and even Madonna.
This year we look at some of the most promising lives acts taking to the stage at 2015’s Coachella festival…
Currently one of the most exciting artists on the R’n’B scene, FKA Twigs made waves in 2014 with her haunting honey-like voice and debut single ‘Two Weeks’. Paired with her eclectic style and performance skills, FKA Twigs’ is one of the hotly anticipated artists of this years’ Coachella festival.
Swedish indie-pop singer Lykke Li allegedly announced her retirement from music in January but we’re pleased she’d decided to play Coachella again as her sweet, soaring voice is not one to be missed live. Since her debut in 2008 with her album Youth Novels, Lykke Li has earned fans in both the fashion and music world thanks to her catchy electro-pop hooks and strong visual style. Hopefully playing some material from her third consecutive 2014 album I Never Learn, Lykke Li is sure to be welcomed with open arms at this years’ festival.
Frequently described as rock’s most dependable group, music veterans AC/DC never seem to run out of steam despite four decades in the business. Taking to the stage in full force, AC/DC are set to bring old school rock’n’roll to this years’ Coachella which is sure to echo the ’70s vibes that have been doing the rounds on the fashion, film and music scene.
Animal Collective’s Noah Benjamin Lennox is the man behind Panda Bear; an experimental neo-psychedelic side-project which has collaborated with the likes of Interpol and Daft Punk. With a modest set-up, Panda Bear manage to create an ethereal wall of melodic synth and richly layered vocals to create a unique sound that sound phenomenal in live format.
Previously nominated for BBC Sound of 2014, British duo Royal Blood may have started their band for ‘a laugh’ but their fanbase is quickly growing across the pond. Receiving a top billing at this years’ Coachella, Royal Blood are already at the receiving end of shared love from Jimmy Page and Zane Lowe as they make the most of their rhythm-section-only format to create a noisy rock sound.
Annie Clarke’s music has been described as everything from ‘futuristic shock rock’ to ‘teetering between happiness and madness’. This Oklahoma born singer is truly a spectacle to behold. From starting her career as a member of the Polyphonic Spree to working with artists such as David Byrne and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, St. Vincent uses a complex wide array of instruments and unorthodox method of performance that makes her once of the most exciting acts on the scene.
Tame Impala are an act who could have just as easily walked straight out of the 1970s psychedelic rock scene instead of Perth, Australia circa 2007. The project and lovechild of Kevin Parker, the band capture a dreamy sound which Parker takes a unique approach to creating.
“The only jamming that’s done as a band is done a long time after the song is recorded for the sake of the live environment. It’s good for us, because we can take a song that’s been recorded and do what we want to it: slow it down, speed it up, make it 10 seconds or 10 minutes long. It gives us a lot of freedom.”
This should make for an interesting an unique performance!
Raekwon and Ghostface Killa
The Wu Tang clan have re-united multiple times over the past few years’ to make festival appearances and this legendary rap group certainly won’t allow a shortage of members get in their way. Raekwon and Ghostface Killa make a return to Coachella as partners in rhyme to wow a polo-sized crowd with the Wu’s signature fast spitting lyrics and East Coast beats.
Tyler The Creator
California born Tyler the Creator is a rapper, producer and co-founder of the hip-hop collective Odd Future. Whilst Tyler has collaborated with the likes of Frank Ocean, Pharrell Williams and Erykah Badu; his first album Goblin , released in 2011 gained a cult following and overnight, Tyler was named as one of the most promising stars in hip-hop. However, such a title comes at a price! The 24-year-old musician has been a subject of controversy following an incident at SxSW festival in Austin where he was arrested for inciting a riot during his performance. Hopefully his act at Coachella will be a more chilled out affair…
French electro-pop band Yelle are founded by none other than the incredibly stylish Julie Budet and ‘Grandmarnier’ (Jean-François Perrier) and are making a welcome return to form at this years’ Coachella. After bursting on to the scene in 2005 with their satirical diss-track ‘Je veux te voir’ addressed to French rapper Cuizinier of TTC, Yelle gained their fanbase with the catchy pop hook of “A cause des garçons” from their album Pop Up. Despite all of their songs being written exclusively in French both for their follow-up record Safari Disco Club and 2014’s Completement Fou, Yelle have managed to capture worldwide attention thanks to their quirky European style, electronic disco beats and devilish sense of humour.
It doesn’t get any better when you have legitimate godfather’s of Punk at your festival. Making themselves at home in their native California (Bad Religion formed in Los Angeles, 1979) Bad Religion take to the stage with lead vocalist Greg Gaffin on top form. If emotionally charged politicized punk anthem and roaring guitars are your thing, you certainly shouldn’t miss out on this truly old school act which are sure to fire up the mosh pit if not the spirit of hardcore punks’ heyday.
Last year we were finally treat with Azealia Banks’ long awaited debut album Broke With Expensive Taste which had garnered a whole boat-load of buzz after Banks’ dropped her single ‘212’. This year, Ms. Banks treats us to a Coachella performance where we can expect nothing less than tongue twisting rhymes, brash lyrics and dirty beats which Azealia has made her signature. Whilst Azealia Banks’ social media persona and er.. unusual stage-costume choices have prevailed over her distinctive and promising sound, Coachella should prove an ample opportunity for Azealia to remind us why we loved her in the first place.
Belle and Sebastian
Glaswegian indie act Belle and Sebastian recently released their ninth studio album Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance and are celebrating their return with several touring dates, including California’s very own Coachella. With a blend of wistful pop and twee sensibility, Belle and Sebastian were perfecting ‘cool’ long before their unique style became ‘cool’ to the fashion crowd.
With last years’ Jay-Z performance and honored members of the Wu Tang Clan to compete with, Drake keeps the mainstream rap game afloat at this years’ Coachella with material from his ‘surprise’ album ‘If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late’. We can expect the Canadian rapper to pull out all the stops so the likelihood of a guest performer (one of his celebrity pals, no doubt) is highly rumoured to be on the cards.
Pairing George Ezra’s voice with the 21 year-old Brit indie kid has been relatively mind-blowing for most but to set him live in front of a festival crowd takes Ezra’s ‘street-buskter’ vibe tenfold. His catchy, whimsical tunes from his Number 1 debut album Wanted On Voyage may be well-known in the UK but the US are only just discovering this promising young upstarts’ charm and talent.
Florence and the Machine
She’s got one of the biggest voices in the business and Florence Welch will certainly not be holding back on her triumphant return with studio album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Florence and the Machine are well-known for their stunning performances and Coachella goers should be geared up for a sneak-peak at their new material played out in full raw glory.
The War On Drugs
Emerging as a favourite of the BBC 6 crowd, The War On Drugs are a compelling indie-rock band from Philadelphia who have been rumored to be playing the coveted sunset slot on the Coachella stage.
Straight out of Leeds, Alt-J have been described as a band who are infinitely better live than they are on record which is a good sign for festival-goers searching for a performance to blow them away.
Former White Stripes front man Jack White is one of rock’s most reputable names thanks to his unique and explosive bluesy style. Over the years, White has transformed into the innovative music patriarch today, who even after almost 20 years, still has his fingers firmly pressed on the pulse of ‘cool’.
People are already talking about Flying Lotus’ potential 3D projection light show and innovative performance for this years’ Coachella so it appears that positive word of mouth travels fast! Fusing hip hop with jazz and electronica, Los Angeles born Steven Ellison has already worked with some of the biggest names in the business but is pushing the boundaries when it comes to making the kind of music people remember.