So Coachella is currently going on this weekend and you’re stuck here reading this article. That being said, you might not realize all that you’re missing out on. While big name bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Modest Mouse, and Phoenix will make their presence felt along with solo artists like the ever-popular 2 Chainz, and Pusha T, you’ll be surprised to hear that they might not even be the best acts at the show. This article will spotlight some of the lesser known artists/bands at the festival and hopefully influence you enough to at least give them a listen.
Originally consisting of four members, this London-based trio is amazingly talented. Jamie xx (who will also have his own solo set at Coachella) is the musical mastermind behind the group, having previously worked with artists such as Drake, Rihanna, Adele, and Florence and the Machine. His hip-hop and electronic background bring a uniqueness to an indie rock sound. Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft function as the group’s swooning pair bringing a jazzy, sultry contrast against one another’s voices that coexist toform a match made in heaven. Croft as guitarist and Sim on the bass meld with Jamie’s production from behind the keyboard to form emotionally charged music that will strip you down, then lift you back up. The group’s first self-titled album, was met with near unanimous critical acclaim and their second outing, Coexist, was no sophomore slouch. View the visual sweetness of “Islands” below:
Danny Brown is an interesting character. With an asymmetrical fro he keeps flattened to the side and missing his two front teeth, Brown’s appearance speaks to his music: funky, intriguing, explicit, and a tad bit obnoxious. Regardless, Brown is no doubt a talented lyricist with an ability to spit out clever punch line after punch line. It’s his delivery and voice that will make you either smile with delight or cringe and squint your eyes. He has an uncanny adeptness at being able to switch up his flow style at a moment’s notice, going from a deep calculated tone to a frantic, high-pitched snarl instantly. Projects such as his XXX, and guest appearances like his scene-stealing verse on Ab-Soul’s “Terrorist Threats” will be good indicators to help you decide if you should dabble in the world of Danny Brown.
If you like a more natural, instrumental sound then the Chicago-based Wild Belle is for you. This reggae/jazz hybrid duo consists of siblings Elliot and Natalie Bergman, who get downright funky (in a very good way) with their music. With Elliot on the sax, and sexy hipster Natalie flexing her tambourine skills while singing her lovely tunes, listeners can get into a really groovy vibe that’ll make you wanna’ get up, grab someone’s hand and dance. They recently toured with (da gawd) Toro y Moi and their popularity is rising. The group’s debut album, Isles, is out now.
Earl falls victim to the OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them ALL) hype-machine for better or worse. Sometimes it’s hard to gauge an artist’s full measurement of talent when most of his fellow group members simply aren’t as talented. There honestly hasn’t been a more rabid, devoted fan base for an artist or group since the Based God and his aptly named Task Force. Yet with Earl we see a kid with a bright future, as long as he can stay away from getting sent away to Samoan bootcamps by his worried mother. His knack for constructing impressive and complicated rhyme schemes puts him at a level higher than most other rappers his age. So the question must be asked: Is Earl Odd Future’s Batman, or is he merely Tyler’s Robin?
Jessie Ware also comes from what seems to be the mecca of modern music today in London, England. The 28-year-old singer has been in the background for years, gracing other London-area artists with her backing vocals as she slowly started to develop music of her own. She has been compared to artists like Sade and Adele, and while her chops might not quite measure up, her voice is strong and soothing while ever-comfortable on a smooth track. Her seductive sound has a way of disarming the listener, and her new-age R&B production brings a much needed freshness to the genre. Devotion, Ware’s debut album, was released in August of 2012 to excellent reviews and embodies elements of beauty and sensuality combined in the form of this project.
Last but certainly not least, is Claire Boucher a.k.a. Grimes, the Canadian goddess of the blogosphere. Admittedly, this blog post will almost certainly do nothing for Boucher in terms of popularity, especially considering the fact that Grimes has done nothing but blow the hell up over the past year. The Vancouver native, 25, brings about a one-of-a-kind particularity that literally presents itself about once every quarter century. From her seemingly, infinitely changing hair color, to her popularized yet self-rebuked lisp, Grimes is a once-in-a-generation type of artist inside and out. Her voice is charming, but is in no way a game-changer. Instead, Boucher uses her spunky lyricism and self-produced beat making ability to separate herself from other would be female artists in her vicinity. Boucher brings about an almost indescribable ability to make each song she sings her own. While she had other successful projects in the past, her 2012 project Visions, is probably the best example of everything Boucher can bring to the table. From her one-of-a-kind twitter handle fandom of the best show on television (Game of Muhfuggin Thrones) to her oh-so-exciting haircuts and immaculate street style, Grimes is about to make 2013 her metaphorical bish. Good luck standing in her way.
Watch “Oblivion” below #MusicVideoOfTheYear: