Over the past week, we’ve showcased the best new bands to check out at Coachella. Instead of our usual Artist of the Week, we’ve decided to mix it up a bit in honor of one of the biggest festivals in the world. With the festival rapidly approaching (this weekend and next to be exact), here are some highlights from our running series. Stay tuned, over the next week, there will be more pieces to come.
tUnE-yArDs: Merrill Garbus is both powerful and adorable, relatable and admirable. In her songs, she finds a way to keep it real while being strong and encouraging. Watching her live looping and seeing exactly how she creates these innovative musical puzzles is part of the fun, but there’s just something in her delivery of it all that communicates a genuine, pure joy to be doing what she’s doing. She continuously exchanges glances of glee with bassist Nate Brenner, and the two of them are so in sync it’s enviable.
This is music perfectly conducive to the essential rock concert experience: being surrounded by strangers, but when you look at the person next to you, you have this shared understanding that you are having the same kick ass experience. – Kelly Knapp
Dawes: When I see Dawes on a list of new bands to check out, I chuckle and have to remind myself that they haven’t been a band for all that long, even if they seem like they’ve been part of my life for years. I remember listening to their debut album, North Hills, on vinyl with a couple friends a few days after I had seem them live for the first time at Lincoln Hall in Chicago. Seeing them perform in all different sorts of venues, I can say that the band excels in any surrounding and will undoubtedly command attention at this festival.
Watching them perform at Lollapalooza and witnessing fellow concert-goers stop in their tracks and instantly become fans is a great indicator of what is sure to be just as amazing performances to come at this years Coachella. I am deeply jealous of anyone that gets to see them at this amazing venue in all their rocking glory. – Daniela Montelongo
Miike Snow: Miike Snow may have fooled you the way they fooled me when I first laid my ears on that catchy electro-pop number Animal back in 2009. I was hooked that very first time. The song’s choruses trance my brain the way their mysterious identity seemed to appeal to me and perhaps others too. It was only after non-stop rotation of their eponymous debut album and a chance to see the band live for the first time in 2010 that made me realize this one fact about Miike Snow has been quite misleading on a first impression basis: Miike Snow is not a person.
If you’re heading to the festival on either weekend, Miike Snow will be performing on 14th and 21st of April (that is on a Saturday) alongside Radiohead, Bon Iver, St. Vincent, just to name a few.Expect an intricate stage set up, a dance party where you’ll be singing along to their catchy numbers (and do cross your fingers for them to play a number or two from the debut. – Nazirah Ashari
Childish Gambino: “Childish Gambino” is a silly name created by a Wu-Tang Clan name generator website. The name itself speaks to Glover’s seemingly cavalier approach to the rap game while simultaneously belying the underlying efforts and serious work that he’s been putting in to becoming a solid hip-hop artist. Childish Gambino doesn’t really make pop music although his flow is peppered with more pop culture references than a SportsCenter marathon. He makes rap music. His songs aren’t radio friendly. They don’t have super-catchy hooks. Many don’t even have hooks at all. They just have verse after verse of Glover’s wit, bite and some very well founded swagger. – Adam Ward
Gotye: If you have not heard “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye, you must live under a rock. It’s the only explanation, really, considering that track transcends genres, making it accessible to alternative rock, pop, and even hip-hop radio stations, which have all given it monstrous airtime. The Australian-based indie outfit has been one of the most talked about new bands this year.
Although it was singer Wouter De Backer’s determination that initially sparked his success, it is his unique brand of experimental yet accessible atmospheric indie rock that propelled it and his breathtaking live show (with a complete band) that will cause it to continue growing. I was lucky enough to attend Gotye’s American television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in February of this year and can say, without a doubt, his performance is a must see at Coachella. – Katrina Nattress