31 Mar Stellachella pt. 1: Your Musical Map To Coachella 2014
It’s the music festival California goes all out for – yep, we’re talking about Coachella! It’s right around the corner and while some veteran festival-goers have been counting down the days since the end of 2013’s event, the newbies are still trying figure out not only how to navigate the massive talent lineup, but also what essentials to bring to survive and capture an unforgettable weekend. Well, that’s why we’re here. In part 1 of our Stellachella series, we bunched an eclectic mix of artists you won’t want to miss – a nice melting pot of different musical sounds and styles if you will.
1. Bastille – Yes, their name comes from Bastille Day. This English indie pop duo released their debut album, Bad Blood, last year. Press play on their song “Pompeii,” their first one to gain major radio airplay.
2. Lorde – Her hit “Royals” catapulted the teenage Kiwi to international fame. With an incredibly developed voice, this big-haired newcomer is already proving she’s a talent to watch. Checkout “Buzzcut Season,” a song about the ridiculousness of modern life.
3. Pharrell – The ageless American hip-hop singer and rapper, songwriter, producer, and N.E.R.D. member had another big year with hits like “Get Lucky,” “Happy,” and “Blurred Lines” taking over radio stations worldwide. Let’s bring it back to his earlier songs like “Angel” and “Frontin'” and remember why we are such a fan of his higher pitched tones.
4. Capital Cities – They’re the American indie pop guys who made the catchy, trumpet-laden hit, “Safe and Sound.” Did you know the song was actually released in 2011? We’re two years behind on these guys’ talent. Check out “One Minute More” to start catching up!
5. Disclosure – Settle, the debut album of this English electronic music duo of brothers, was nominated for Best Dance/ Electronica Album at the 2014 Grammys. As if you haven’t pressed replay on it enough already, “Latch” is that undeniably catchy hit that features the vocals of Sam Smith.
6. Daughter – Don’t get them confused with Daughters, the American rock band. This rock band trio hails from England and has already headlined tours in North America, Europe, and Australia. Check out “Youth” and if we didn’t know better, we’d guess that she’s a secret sister to Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine.
7. Jhene Aiko – A racially ambiguous American beaut, she began her hip-hop and R&B musical career with B2K in the early 2000s and has since worked with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Childish Gambino, and Drake. We’re itching to get our hands on her highly anticipated debut album, Souled Out. Chill out to the singer’s gently pop-tinged vocals on her melodic “My Afternoon Dream.”
7. Queens of the Stone Age – This American rock band is the festival’s most local act, having to travel only 10 miles from Palm Desert. They turned their heads from the name “Kings of the Stone Age” because it was too macho, preferring their rock sound to be heavy for boys yet sweet for girls. Skip to “Little Sister” and you’ll find yourself packing for Coachella so much faster.
8. Empire of the Sun – This electronic music duo from Down Under creates their music around imagination by studying the peculiar in art, digital graphics, topography, and nearly anything and everything in between. Turn on “Alive” because that is exactly how you will be feeling at their Coachella set. Nay, you’ll feel like that all weekend.
9. Future Islands – This eight year-old synthpop band formed in North Carolina and then moved to Maryland where they really took off. Are we the only ones who can imagine “Seasons (Waiting on You)” like it belongs in a John Hughes coming-of-age film?
10. Outkast – What’s a Stellachella 2014 playlist without this American hip-hop dynmanic duo? Fans rejoice, because they’re starting out their reunion tour with a bang by being the festival’s headlining act, so it would be a crime to leave them out of here. They’ve got numerous top songs but unarguably, we have to start with “Hey Ya!”
11. Lana Del Rey – An American singer and songwriter with an impressive vocal capability, she can manipulate her voice from sounding high and girlish in her timbre to a low and jazzy sound. We think she’s got a burning hip-hop alter-ego in her with lyrics like “you’re so fresh to death,” “he was chasing paper,” and “I’m a ride or die whether you fail or fly” in her dark ballad, “Blue Jeans.”
12. Holy Ghost! – Traveling from the Empire State comes this pair who have been friends since elementary school. The two began with Automato, a short-lived hip-hop group, before switching gears to create synthpop sounds name under their current name. “Teenagers in Heat” should also be in that John Hughes’ film.
13. MGMT – Originally Management, this American rock band shortened their name to this abbreviated version to separate themselves from another band of the same name. Kick back to “Kids,” possibly one of the funnest songs to come across our eardrums as we rediscover our inner-child.
So don’t forget to add these artists to your mix if they aren’t already on there! Scour through Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, YouTube, and even MySpace for these guys’ songs with a glass of Stella Rosa to get you in the mood. Play these tunes over the next couple of weeks and during your epic car ride to Coachella.
We’ll come back soon with more survival tips and tricks for Coachella! But in the meantime, we want to hear from you: tell us whose set you won’t be missing!