Photo: Courtesy of Coachella
It’s officially that time of the year again. Coachella 2018 is right around the corner, signifying the beginning of festival season – and what a lineup it is. At the top of the poster, you’ll find some of the biggest names in popular music today – Beyoncé, The Weeknd, and Eminem lead the charge, but not to be outshined by some living legends and indie darlings. David Bryne, the founding member, principal songwriter, and lead singer and guitarist of seminal art pop, rock band Talking Heads joins Jamiroquai, the definitive band of the ‘90s London’s acid jazz and funk movement, to make Coachella 2018 a festival for the ages. And where would Coachella be without its indie-darlings-turned-cult-favorites, with King Krule, HAIM, Fleet Foxes, The War On Drugs, and St. Vincent rounding out the lineup nicely.
The vast amount of talent on display is immediately apparent, and that’s only touching upon the tip of the iceberg. With over 150 acts making up the Coachella 2018 lineup, where does one possibly start? Well, that’s where we come in. We have handpicked some of the most promising and interesting rising talent that is not to be missed for the nearly 100-thousand music fans who will make their way to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. These are 10 Ones To Catch at Coachella 2018. PLUS, follow our Spotify playlist to get pumped at your pregame!
Jorja Smith has earned comparisons to legendary figures such as Amy Winehouse and Ms. Lauryn Hill, and one listen makes it clear why. The 19-year-old English rising star began her career making striking and emotive R&B music informed by the political and economic issues that surrounded her upbringing. Every one of Smith’s songs is relentless in the way that it pierces the heart, and we would have had no complaints if Smith solely continued on creating some of the most transcendent R&B in recent memory. However, the last year has showcased just how deep Smith’s level of artistry goes, as she adventures off and experiments with new genres. 2017 was the year that Smith would find herself both featured on Drake’s acclaimed More Life and on the club-ready “On My Mind.” Proving herself as a multi-faceted talent in the last year, Smith is sure not to disappoint when she takes the stage.
When it comes to eliciting emotion through wonderfully layered instrumentation and soulful vocal stylings, no one does it quite like Tom Misch. Utilizing a DIY approach to song making, Misch creates songs that feel like living, breathing works of arts, each with their own unique stories. The South Londoner originally found inspiration from such seemingly disparate places as J Dilla and John Mayer whose influences can be heard throughout Misch’s music in the way he crafts mesmerizing hip-hop style beats that are never lacking as far as layers of hypnotic bass lines and guitar riffs are concerned. However, to categorize Misch as an artist with a penchant for groovy bass lines and a love for hip-hop is far too simplistic, as his pieces fuse together not only elements of hip-hop but shimmering disco-funk and jazz instrumentation as well. Tom Misch is an act surely not to be missed as he transforms the polo fields into a sonic daydream.
Elohim has found herself on our Ones To Catch list before and for good reason. The enigmatic nature surrounding Elohim’s persona is in and of itself highly alluring, as Elohim shrouds herself behind an array of animal masks or her layers of straight black hair. While the mysterious nature surrounding Elohim may serve as the original entry point of fascination for some, her music will surely keep listeners enticed long after the fact. Creating lush and dreamy electro-pop numbers, such as the surprisingly at-home Mariachi instrumentation found in “Hallucinating,” Elohim’s music speaks volumes for the enigmatic figure. This sense of experimentation bleeds over to Elohim’s live show as well, where one is treated with not only an auditory trip but a visual one as well, as computer-generated voices and captivating imagery add another dimension entirely to this not to miss performance.
One of the biggest regrets you can find yourself agonizing over this post-Coachella season is missing out on The Regrettes. All bad puns aside, The Los Angeles-based punk act is an act to behold for those seeking out an act unmatched in raw, brazen energy and talent. The Regrettes’ style of punk rock is very much informed by the band’s upbringing in sunny Los Angeles, as tracks like “Seashore” with its Beach Boys-style instrumentations bring forth sun-soaked imagery without ever sacrificing the punk sentiments the band is so adept at delivering. For those who said punk was dead, it merely took a new form, in the sun-tinged ‘50s and ‘60s pop-inspired sound of The Regrettes. So, if you’re looking for somewhere to mosh to your heart’s content as some of the infectious punk stylings out there soundtrack the whole experience, then you’ll find yourself overjoyed catching The Regrettes.
Yaeji may have just been the breakout act of last year. Seemingly emerging from nowhere, the 24-year-old Korean-American electronic producer is one of the newest and most exciting voices in house music. Placing herself at the forefront of her own tracks, singing in hushed tones that shift between Korean and English at a moment’s notice, and crafting irresistible bouts of production are a few of the aspects in Yaeji’s repertoire that serve as a testament to why the buzzing house producer is such an intriguing act to follow. Yaeji’s versatility with beat-making is another one of her strongest suits. Tracks like “Therapy” seemingly have more in common with dream pop, yet one can find tracks like “passionfruit” that showcase Yaeji as an artist capable of repurposing a hip-hop hit into a slow-burning dancefloor jam. So, as Yaeji continues to take over dancefloors across the world, from living rooms to warehouses, we can’t wait to watch her add Coachella to her ever-growing list.
The film Almost Famous is a music lover’s classic for a number reasons, one of the reasons being its portrayal of the “death rattle of rock and roll.” Well as anyone who has heard Greta Van Fleet can attest, rock and roll is alive and well. The four-piece rock band emerging from Frankenmuth, Michigan has all the trademark stylings of what makes a great rock band so great. From each song’s anthemic nature, the arena-sized hooks, the earth-shattering vocals, unrestrained guitar solos and riffs, and a frontman who sounds like he was born solely to lead a rock band, Greta Van Fleet has it all. But don’t be fooled, Greta Van Fleet isn’t merely imitators or revivalists. They are hands down innovators breathing new life into rock and roll. Championing the next wave of rock and roll, Greta Van Fleet are bound to turn their Coachella set into a Woodstock-worthy performance.
Sweden has served as a wellspring for the most veritable talent in pop music. From Lykke Li, Tove Lo, to Robyn, some of the most memorable acts of recent memory have been a byproduct of Sweden, and LÉON is an artist poised to follow in those very footsteps. LÉON’s music embodies some of the best indie-pop has to offer, crafting spellbinding pop numbers that perfectly capture a lingering sense of melancholy. While a certain air of mysticism surrounds the Swedish-pop sensation, the reasoning behind her music sounding like that of a seasoned veteran is clear as day. While LÉON in her current incarnation may be new to the world, the singer first got her start as the frontwoman of a ten-piece hip-hop and soul band at the young age of seventeen. The experience undoubtedly rubbed off on her, as the amount of energy LÉON brings to any performance, and will indisputably bring to her Coachella performance, is palpable.
Founded and based in Los Angeles, Cherry Glazerr is the definition of a band that has stayed true to its roots, refusing to compromise an ounce of its authentic sound. Led by Clementine Creevy, Cherry Glazerr first found its start in Creevy’s bedroom in 2012, where the at-the-time high-schooler recorded songs under the name of Clembutt. Since then, Cherry Glazerr has gone on to release two critically-acclaimed albums, 2014’s Haxel Princess and 2017’s Apocalipstick, as well as bringing to life the noisy and beautiful “Had Ten Dollaz,” as a commission for Saint Laurent. Indeed, the very fact that Cherry Glazerr presented a noise-rock powerhouse when asked to commission a song for one of the world’s leading fashion icons is a testament to the band’s ethos and tenacity as a tried and true noise rock band. The type of band that is sure to deliver in large amounts at this year’s Coachella.
From busking on the streets to selling out worldwide shows, Tash Sultana is the very personification of a fantastical music story in the making. Whatever your introduction may be to Sultana, whether it be through the awe-inspiring videos of her busking or listening to her beautifully crafted numbers, it’s immediately apparent why the Melbourne artist is universally praised. The solitary powerhouse is an absolute virtuoso on the guitar, looping herself to create stunning creations abounding with an array of arresting sonic textures. While Sultana’s most evident talent is her guitar prowess, it is not the only area where she exceeds. The young powerhouse has a voice that shines with an enchanted quality, transforming the artist into a full-fledged one-woman act that can stop an entire crowd, or rather, a polo field full of people dead in its tracks.
At the perfection intersection between passionate indie rock and pop sensibility, you’ll find Nothing But Thieves. Hailing from Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England, the critically-acclaimed band crafts atmospheric and artful indie rock that has earned them well-deserved comparisons to Arctic Monkeys and Foals. The comparison isn’t limited solely to the stunning use of instrumentation Nothing But Thieves have on display, but also in the gripping and thought-provoking lyricism underlying the band’s songwriting. With the band’s recently released sophomore album, Broken Machine, Nothing But Thieves are bound to deliver an exciting new live set brimming with energy and a wealth of previously unheard material. And trust us, as previous presenters of a Nothing But Thieves tour, we can confidently say that this band puts on a show that delivers in spades.