|A huge crowd greets Northern Ireland's Two Door Cinema Club at Coachella in Indio, CA on |
April 22, 2017. Photo: Greg Noire courtesy of Goldenvoice
|Several impressive art installations loom over Coachellagoers as dusk arrives in Indio|
in April 2017. Photo credit: Christine Spidell
The highly-anticipated event will feature headliners Childish Gambino, Tame Impala and Ariana Grande, with the event's diverse lineup also hosting appearances from Janelle Monáe, the 1975, Kacey Musgraves, Kid Cudi, Khalid, Zedd, Dillon Francis, CHVRCHES, Aphex Twin and Weezer.
This column will highlight a number of performances that I hope to catch at Coachella. With more than 160 acts performing, it is simply impossible to see every artist at the festival. And it would be criminal to not carve out some time to enjoy the always-impressive art installations from the celebrated likes of Poetic Kinetics, Office Kovacs, Do LaB and NEWSUBSTANCE that inhabit the expansive festival grounds during the event.
Fridays, April 12 and 19
|Hurray for the Riff Raff singer Alynda Lee Segarra|
performing at the Stagecoach Festival in 2014.
Photo: Robert Kinsler
Hurray for the Riff Raff, a New Orleans collective fronted by singer/guitarist/banjoist Alynda Lee Segarra, was an emerging newcomer when I saw them at the Stagecoach festival in April 2014. Fast forward five years and the collective is one of the leaders of the celebrated Americana music scene, having released two potent titles with ATO Records (2014's Small Town Heroes and 2017's The Navigator). Segarra has a wonderful voice and uses that potent alto soprano in the service of songs that are literate and often address issues related to social justice.
|Kacey Musgraves performing at the Stagecoach |
Festival in 2015. Photo: Kelly A. Swift
What would a music festival be without some melodic sounds from across the Pond? The 1975 are an English pop-rock outfit from Manchester that has scored success in the United Kingdom and here in the U.S. via hit singles including "Chocolate," "Sex" and "Robbers." Other favorites include "Somebody Else," "Love It If We Made It" and . The 1975's most recent album "A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships" is the band's most challenging and acclaimed album release to date, with the group's modern-day sound blending pop, indie rock and dance in increasingly creative ways.
Beach Fossils are a Brooklyn, New York-based band formed in 2009 that offers up original songcraft hewed out of indie pop, rock, lo-fi shoegaze and other modern styles. Among my faves from the band is the hypnotic "Down the Line," longing "Sugar" and chamber pop sortie "St. Ivy."
Saturdays, April 13 and 20
|A R I Z O N A will make their Coachella debut in 2019.|
Billie Eilish is only 17 but already a major name on the crowded Coachella lineup. The Los Angeles-based teen's full-length debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was released on March 29 on the heels of a string of well-received advance singles including "Bury a Friend," "You Should See Me in a Crown" and "When the Party's Over" that are featured on the disc alongside many previously-unheard originals including the new single "Bad Guy." Coachella will be a tremendous stage to introduce the rising singer-songwriter to an even larger audience.
Aphex Twin is the stage moniker for British musician Richard David James, a groundbreaking artist who has pioneered sounds in the electronic genres of ambient techno, experimental and dance music during the 1990s. Like Radiohead and Blur, Aphex Twin is one of the most important and influential U.K. artists to emerge that decade. The range of moodscapes created by James in his sonic creations defies easy categorization but Coachellagoers will definitely respond to an artist who has influenced subsequent heroes such as Daft Punk and Atoms for Peace. After releasing the studio LP Drukqs in 2001, James went into hiatus as Aphex Twin (although he continued to release new music under alternative aliases). However, in 2014 Aphex Twin returned with Syro, which won a Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album.
|Rivers Cuomo performing in Costa Mesa, CA, in|
August 2011. Photo: Kelly A. Swift
Four Tet is the stage name for Kieran Hebden. The English artist's music is electronic and involving enough to imagine it will make for an interesting visit in the desert. Having explored the musical universe via experimental, alt rock, jazz and other styles, Four Tet's set promises to be fun.
|Coachella 2012 at dusk. Photo: Robert Kinsler|
Sundays, April 14 and 21
CHVRCHES is a Glasgow, Scotland-spawned band whose synth-pop and indie pop sound is sure to keep Southern California's premiere event moving on Sunday. The group's parade of solid releases (Recover, The Bones of What You Believe and Every Open Eye) has yielded a string of infectious material.
|Emily King will perform at Coachella on Sundays,|
April 14 and 21. Photo courtesy of the artist.
H.E.R. (an acronym for Having Everything Revealed) is a Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter who first found fame as Gabriella "Gabi" Wilson as a participant in Radio Disney's Next Big Thing a decade ago. At the mere age of 14, she was signed to RCA Records. But it was her artistic renewal as H.E.R. in 2016 that has yielded bona fide interest in the artist, included five Grammy Awards nominations earlier this year (she won Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Album).
Editor's Note: This is an expanded version of the story also available on the Desert Star Weekly site here.