This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Coachella festival. It debuted in October of ’99 with headliners Tool, Rage Against the Machine, and Beck, and while this year’s lineup will see the return of the latter Gen X maestro, it also welcomes a range of artists including arena dwellers Muse and Arcade Fire, L.A. songbird Banks, and British band Temples.
Can you guess who our top picks are? Here are five hints: the master of mash-ups; a well-loved siren; three sisters; a seasoned songwriter and his merry musical henchman; a bright new group from Scotland.
Now here’s why:
Motion in a festival crowd is limited — you can sway, mosh, hop, or do your version of the hipster lean. A lot depends on the music, of course. So when we found out Gregg Gillis, otherwise known as Girl Talk was scheduled for Coachella this year, we were pretty psyched, and not just because he’s from the ‘burgh. His shows always have a community element — fans often make their way onto the stage in droves for one massive dance party, so the potential for such an event in Indio is monumental (especially when rocking out to a James Taylor/ Jackson 5 / Pixies creation).
Last year was a busy one for sister act Haim. The trio hit the ground running with their debut, showing a knack for conjuring nostalgic melodies with an edge that brings to mind a sort of Debbie Gibson meets The Runaways.
Bringing the same pop-ready sensibility to their sound (but with a decidedly bright and brilliant twist) is Scottish band CHVRCHES, who formed in 2012. Heavy on stabbing beats and layered synths, the optimism in Lauren Mayberry’s voice is infectious.
What can we say about Kate Nash that hasn’t already been said? Always true to her vision, she’s one of our favorite provocateurs, and her latest album Girl Talk swarms with delightfully irreverent lyrics and authoritative guitar licks.
Last but certainly not least is experimental duo Broken Bells. What began as a side project for Shins lead singer James Mercer and Brian Burton (or Danger Mouse as he so perfectly refers to himself) is now a fully realized experience with the release of their second album, After the Disco.
+ While that’s just a small sample of what the festival has to offer this year, be sure to check out our playlist of more Coachella 2014 faves below. Whether you’re planning your own excursion and need some tunes for the upcoming road trip, or are following along from home this busy festival season, we highly recommend it.
Do you have a favorite band playing at the infamous Indio festival this year? Tell us all about it in the comments below!