10 fine print acts at Coachella 2018 to watch out for
Like every year, Coachella 2018 presents a host of top-class indie talent buried in the fine print of the line-up poster. Here's our pick of the top 10 acts to watch out for.
Ready or not, here comes Coachella 2018 in all its sun-soaked, bohemian, freebird glory!
For the next two weekends (April 13-15; April 20-22), the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California will play host to over 100,000 people and around 150 artists, culminating in one of the largest and most vibrant music festivals in the world.
With just a few hours to go for the first artist to take the stage, the organizers recently revealed the set times for the first weekend. Planning your weekends around the artists' schedules at Coachella can at times be a Sofie's Choice. This year, like all years, there are a few big names that you most definitely wouldn't want to miss. The headliners for the year are Beyonce, The Weeknd and Eminem. Other top billing acts include The War on Drugs, St. Vincent, HAIM, SZA, David Byrne, Alt-J, Tyler The Creator, Fleet Foxes, A Perfect Circle, Cardi B, Portugal. The Man among others.
But of course, Coachella is not just about showcasing the big guns and the A-listers. A long-time spirit of the festival and the reason it got so popular in the first place is the giant push it provides to up-and-coming indie artists. Every year, there are more than a few gold nuggets buried in the smaller font billings, and often, these acts return in subsequent Coachella editions, climbing their way up to bigger font sizes. So if you're looking to catch some fast-rising stars before they hit mainstream success and recognition, here's a list of the top 10 smaller billed acts at Coachella 2018 to watch out for:
1. Perfume Genius
Perfume Genius, the stage name for Seattle-based Mike Hadreas, makes extraordinary and electric indie pop that touches on themes of sexuality and the struggles he faced growing up as a queer teenager. It's said that he uses his personal life to fuel his songwriting and his recording techniques to set his sounds apart from other up and comers in the same genre and it sure seems to be working. His live performances are often as cinematic and colorful as his music, so this is one act that you do not want to miss.
Hadreas recently called out Eminem (who is the closing act this year) on Twitter saying that he'd like "to have a jousting battle" with the rapper since they're both performing at Coachella. Eminem has yet to respond but Hadreas' set already sounds promising! Perfume Genius will be taking the stage on Friday, April 13 and Friday, April 20.
2. Greta Van Fleet
Popularly dubbed as the 'new Led Zeppelin', Greta Van Fleet are a quartet of millennials from Michigan who are admittedly lost outside their own era. With their high-energy blues styled licks and vocals that are eerily similar to Robert Plants, GVF has been making a whole lot of vibes as the self-styled resurrectors of classic rock, and they seem to be succeeding. Fresh off their debut album 'From The Fires', the band is set to hit a number of festivals this year, including a trip across the pond to play Download Festival and Electric Ballroom in the UK. Greta Van Fleet will be performing on Friday, April 13 and Friday, April 20.
3. Django Django
This psychedelic art-pop quartet from London started off by combining 80's pop rhythms with 60's Beach Boys-style vocal harmonies to provide a unique concert experience. Their debut album was shortlisted for the Mercury prize and they've made a name for themselves thanks to their electric and artistic live performances. The band is touring in support of their latest album, 2018's 'Marble Skies,' which sees them explore their sound with a deeper reverence and maturity than before. NME has even gone as far to call them "One of Britain’s biggest indie success stories.” Django Django will take the stage on Saturday, April 14 and Saturday, April 21.
Pushed into the spotlight thanks to their standout performance at SXSW 2014 and the Internet's maniacal hype, Toronto-based five-piece Alvvays combine fuzzy, dreamy pop with infectious, sugary melodies to provide some of the best hooky, earworm-inducing indie sounds of today. As they gained popularity, their gigs got larger and they soon nabbed a spot at Glastonbury 2015 and also Coachella 2016. Two years later, the alt rockers return to Indio for another glimpse of their instantly loveable hooks. Their latest studio effort, 2017's Antisocialites was praised by critics and fans alike and got some serious air-time on indie radio stations across the world. Alvvays will be performing their set on Saturday, April 14 and again on Saturday, April 21.
5. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
Describing their sonic approach as "tough pop/soft punk", Rolling Blackouts C.F. churn out bright, energetic rock & roll with lively guitar lines and pop hooks, peppered with dry wit. Inspired by classic pop bands like Orange Juice and the Go-Betweens, the Aussie pop-rockers have been making huge waves worldwide, particularly for a band whose first recorded material was released just two years prior. Their status as one of Australia’s most promising new bands was cemented late last year as the five-piece were taken up by the legendary Seattle-based label Sub Pop, becoming just the third Australian band to be signed. The band is living proof that tight hooks and upbeat songwriting can get a crowd moving just as much as any balls-to-the-wall punk band. Rolling Blackouts C.F. will be taking the Mojave stage at Coachella on Sunday, April 15 as well as April 22.
6. The Blaze
The Blaze are two French brothers that just so happen to make some of the most unique and haunting dance music out there. Although they've only put out just the one EP so far and are still shy of their first studio album, they've been meticulous in releasing singles and music videos online. Their latest music video (watch above) for the single 'Territory' gathered a staggering 11 million views on Youtube and is still going strong. It'll surely be interesting what the two brothers bring to their live sets at Coachella on Friday, April 13 and April 20.
Noname aka Fatimah Warner is a favorite among music bloggers, garnering massive online support for the release of her album Telefone. As her stage name suggests, the 26-year-old Chicago rapper prefers to remain out of the spotlight and instead allows her unique and unforgettable hip hop to do the talking. She has been rapping and performing slam poetry in Chicago since 2010. In 2013 she gained wider recognition following her appearance on the track "Lost" from Chance the Rapper's mixtape Acid Rap. Her first performance at Coachella should provide a rare glimpse of Noname hugging the spotlight. She is set to take the 'Gobi stage' on Sunday April 15 and Sunday, April 22.
8. Moses Sumney
Moses Sumney has come a long way since the self-release of his Mid-City Island EP in 2014. Unveiling his first full-length album in 2017, the artist has received acclaim from the New York Times and Rolling Stone. Since launching his career he's been steadily climbing the rungs on the ladder of success, performing as an opening act for the likes of Solange, Sufjan Stevens, Erykah Badu, and James Blake. You can hear his tracks that "explore beauty in language" during Coachella performances on Friday, April 13 and Friday, April 20 at the Gobi stage.
9. Mild High Club
Yes, I know the name implies that their music is best enjoyed after a freshly burnt blunt, but it's not necessarily the case. Although some freshly legal greens might help you get into the groove more, the LA-based psychedelic pop group has a knack for setting pleasantly woozy, laid-back feel at their live gigs, with ample tropical elements, soft rock, psych-pop and cosmic jazz. I can't think of a better set to give you some breathing room between an otherwise seemingly hectic schedule. Mild High Club will be performing on Saturday, April 14 and again on Saturday, April 21.
10. Otoboke Beaver
Definitely one of the most interesting acts buried in the fine print, this all-girl punk outfit band comes all the way from Japan and has been making music since 2009. Describing themselves as a “Japanese girls 'knock out or pound cake' band,” they are set to make their debut at Coachella with a strange yet wonderful mix of fast-paced DIY punk riffs and dance-friendly hooks. Otoboke Beaver will take the Sonora stage on consecutive Fridays - April 13 and April 20.
Is there something we missed out of the fine print? Did we not squint hard enough? Let us know your thoughts and opinions via the comments section.