The Overachiever’s Guide to Coachella 2014

by Catalina Biesman-Simons (Undeclared), published April 14th 2014


Just because you and I don’t have Coachella tickets doesn’t mean we can’t participate in the fun “I know this obscure up and coming band, and am therefore cooler than you” game. Want to be that pretentious music festival know-it-all, without ever leaving the comforting glow of your computer screen? Here are 13 acts to know, and later pretend you had already heard of.


GOAT: This Swedish alt-rock experimental band doesn’t leave the experimentation to just their musical sound. They are known for performing in crazy masks to enhance their psychedelic drums and muddy guitar riffs. Listen to “Run to Your Mama and “Goatman.”

The Preatures: A five person pop-rock effort from Australia, their first full album is due out sometime this year. Their music sounds like Jagwar Ma on helium in the best way possible. Listen to “Better Than It Ever Could Be” and “Manic Baby.”

The Internet: Mildly soulful R&B mixed with hip-hop and dipped in synth. If Frank Ocean had musically inclined cousins, they would be The Internet. Listen to “Dontcha” and “Red Balloon.”

J Roddy Walston & The Business: Classic Americana rock riffs combine with modern pop sounds to produce this Tennesse based local favorite. Perfect for those who miss head banging to the Rolling Stones or driving with their windows down in the summer. Listen to “Heavy Bells” and “Black Light.”

Guy Gerber: Gerber is an Israeli mastermind behind some really inventive house music. Layered ethereal vocals mix with stuttering drums to make this techno act notable in the vast sea of rave music. Listen to “The Mirror Game” and “Steady.”

Darkside: Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington form this duo, with a surprisingly moody sound for Coachella’s summer-y line up. Their music is kind of hypnotic, their 2013 album Psychic is the best thing that’s happened to my ears in ages, and you know what? They’re just awesome, ok. Listen to “Golden Arrow” and “The Only Shrine I’ve Seen.”

Tom Odell: Odell is the British Jeff Buckely, he’s like Ed Sheeran’s dark and tortured long lost twin. Just as romantic, but with more edge. Listen to “Another Love” and “Grow Old With Me.”

Young & Sick: If someone played R&B in a spaceship, it would sound like this. This “music & art project” is based in LA, and works on album art alongside their musical pursuits (They’ve done album art for Foster the People and Maroon 5!).  Listen to “Heartache Fetish” and “Glass.”

Ty Segall: Lighter waving, scream-along, high-school garage band rock. Pop hooks and rock riffs reminiscent of the Stooges, or maybe the Black Lips old stuff, make Segall a noteworthy artist. Listen to “Girlfriend” and “Goodbye Bread.”

Banks: She is the most epic R&B minimalist; her smoldering lyrics and matching smoky beats make her one to watch. Her music has the wit of Fiona Apple, the edge of the Weeknd and the crowd appeal of London Grammar. Listen to “Waiting Game” and “Brain.”

Ratking: A threesome from Harlem NY, their mischievous rhymes are laid over beats as grimy as the big apple itself. Their rapping style is kind of languid, but simultaneously edgier than anything you’d find on the radio. Listen to “So Sick Stories” and “Canal.”

Jhené Aiko: An LA native, Aiko has a dreamy take on R&B. Her almost soulful vocals move fluidly over hip-hop beats, making her music smooth and compelling. She’s collaborated with some big names, which include but are by no means limited to Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino and Drake. Listen to “The Worst” and “My Afternoon Dream.”

Blood Orange: Brit Dev Hynes’ latest brainchild. A seemingly random mix of indie guitar and funk somehow come together and make sounds that appeal to the human ear. Listen to “Chamakay” and “It Is What It Is.”


Now go forth and impress (annoy) all your friends with your newfound knowledge. What’s that? You discovered these artists before I did?


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