5 Coachella Artists You Haven't Heard... (But Should Definitely Know About)

You’ve definitely heard of Beyonce, Eminem, and The Weeknd, but are you familiar with some of the lesser-known bands that will be gracing the Coachella stages this April?  Allow me be your music tour guide! Feel free to listen along with the playlist below.

Here are 5 artists you may have not heard of (but should definitely check out)! :

1. Big Thief

Big Thief can be described as an indie rock band with folk roots.  The first time I heard Big Thief was the song “Shark Smile” on Sirius XMU.  What strikes me about this song is singer Adrianne Lenker’s mellow vocals, and the beauty of Buck Meek’s guitar solos throughout.  The song is decidedly melancholy, and according to my research, it’s about a car accident in which one person dies and the other lives.  

Evelyn’s kiss was oxygen
I leaned over to take it in
As we went howling through the edge of south Des Moines
It came over me at a bad time
She burned over the double line
And she impaled as I reached my hand for the guardrail

Big Thief’s songs have some highly personal themes, which is a refreshing departure from some mainstream music that lacks depth and emotional impact.  Big Thief is a great mood-setter for a sunny Sunday drive or a beach day. Other recommended listens include: “Paul”, “Vegas”, and “Mythological Beauty”.

2. FIDLAR (video NSFW)

FIDLAR is a punk/skate/garage rock band out of L.A.  Growing up in Los Angeles myself, their grungy riff-laden songs are exactly what the guys in bands at my high-school tried so hard to emulate. Many of the band’s songs are about frontman Zac Carper's road to sobriety, and contain some NSFW themes.  Their newest self-titled album sounds much-more cleaned up and has a beachier vibe than their former albums.  However, the song that stood out for me was “Punks” from their 2015 album, Too.  

Well I’m still alive
And you are too
I still can’t get myself outta’ you

What FIDLAR lacks in lyricality, they make up for in passion. This is a great band to listen to when you’re angry in traffic.  (Ashley Chloe, Inc. does not take responsibility for road-rage exasperated by this music recommendation). Other song recommendations include: “No Waves”, “Cheap Beer”, and “5 to 9”.  

3. Fazerdaze

A stark contrast to FIDLAR, Fazerdaze is kind of like a bike ride on a sunny day.  It’s SO relaxed, that I can’t imagine this being a very entertaining band to see live (although I will gladly accept free tickets if you are reading this, Amelia Murray)!  Fazerdaze is basically the definition of dream-pop, a genre that I reach for in a variety of different scenarios (like writing blog posts for work, or painting).  I really enjoyed the earworm “Lucky Girl” from Fazerdaze’s 2017 album, Morningside.  The song seems to be about a girl who lets her walls down in order to fall in love.  

Are the walls getting closer
As I’m getting closer to you?
And are we falling faster
Now we have further to fall?

Other song recommendations include: “Misread”, “Bedroom Talks”, and “Jennifer”.

4. Japanese Breakfast

Dawning from Philadelphia, Japanese Breakfast can be described as experimental indie pop/indie rock.  The popular track “Road Head” has a dreamy, nostalgic vibe that seems romantic despite it’s blunt subject.  The soulful bass line and the unique tone of Michelle Zaune’s vocals really makes this song a winner in my book.

Dream on, baby, were his last words to me
Dream on, baby
So dreaming baby took that corkscrewed highway
Lightless miles of big rigs
Lightless miles, miles and miles

Other song recommendations include: “Everyone Wants to Love You” and “The Body Is a Blade”.

5. Alvvays

Pronounced “Always”, (I learned that the embarrassing way), Alvvays is an indie pop band who emerged from Toronto, Ontario.  My introduction to Alvvays was the song “Archie, Marry Me”, which is a charming take on modern love.  Basically, “forget the wedding, let’s just sign the papers”. Not everyone dreams about their wedding from childhood.   

During the summer take me sailing out on the Atlantic
I won’t set my sights on other seas, there is no need to panic
So honey take me by the hand and we can sign some papers
Forget the invitations, floral arrangements and bread makers
Hey, hey, marry me, Archie
Hey, hey, marry me, Archie

Vocalist Molly Rankinis is skilled and effortlessly cool.  Keyboardist Kerri MacLellan, guitarist Alec O'Hanley, bassist Brian Murphy, and drummer Sheridan Riley round out their fuzzy-guitar and romantic sound.  Other song recommendations include: “Plimsoll Punks”, “Party Police” and “In Undertow”. If nothing at all, try listening to the the last 15 seconds of “In Undertow” and tell me it isn’t absolutely brilliant.   

So there you have it!  A miniature guide to bands you didn’t know about that are going to be at Coachella this year.  Have something to say? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!