Festival season is quickly approaching and that means big corporate sponsors and even bigger crowds to brave in order to catch your favourite acts. The incredibly stacked lineup makes this year’s installment of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival the perfect season kick off but you can’t spend your whole day browsing the food trucks and waiting to hear The Weeknd perform his new record My Dear Melancholy.
We’ve done you a solid this year, gathering up ten underrated acts performing at Coachella 2018 to get you a little closer to that authentic festival experience of discovering your new favourite artist.
Check out our list below and head to the official Coachella website for the full line up + more info.
Otoboke Beaver is the all-female Japanese punk band that you need to be listening to. Based in Kyoto, the four-piece outfit describe themselves as a “knock out or pound cake band.” Formed in a college music club in 2009, the group got their name from a “love hotel” near one of the members’ high school in Osaka and deliver high-energy, infectiously fun punk performances that spit in the face of patriarchy. Otoboke Beaver made their American debut at last year’s SXSW and will make another (rare) appearance on the Saturdays of Coachella.
MILD HIGH CLUB
It’s all in the name for Mild High Club. What began as a passion project for MacDemarco tourmate and disciple Alex Brettin has become a serious force in the new independent scene that his mentor helped usher in. Brettin began the project in his hometown of Chicago but has since relocated to Los Angeles and signed with Stones Throw Records. While the music is reminiscent of psychedelic jazz and stoner rock of the 1970’s, the vibe is contemporary and perfect for a hot day in the Coachella Valley.
Known for their epic, cinematic music videos, French electronic duo The Blaze is another act that you can not afford to miss. Composed of cousins Guillaume and Jonathan Alric, The Blaze is the perfect synergy of their individual talents. While Guillaume spent years studying at film school in Belgium, Jonathan was learning to produce music and began a dub project under the alias Mayd Hubb. According to an interview with THE FADER, Guillaume asked Jonathan to help him score a music video for one of his classes and the rest is history.
Knox Fortune is a Chicago-based producer/singer and the only artist on our list with a Grammy Award. Born Kevin Rhomberg, Fortune began his musical career producing for various members of Chicago’s SAVEMONEY crew including Vic Mensa, Joey Purp and Chance the Rapper. Following a placement on Chance’s 2016 project Coloring Book project with vocals on “All Night,” Fortune released his debut album and began work as a solo artist. Take a listen to “No Dancing” above and just try to keep still. You won’t.
WESTSIDE GUNN + CONWAY
Meet the Buffalo-born/raised rap duo consisting of brothers Westside Gunn and Conway. Lace up your Timberlands and bust out your Yankee fitted because there’s no mumbling to be found here. Also known as Hall N Nash, these guys have endless bars and rap over some of the grimiest, old-school production around. Hip-hop purists and heads alike will appreciate the long list of collaborations between the duo including MF DOOM, Raekwon, Sean Price, Styles P, Prodigy, The Alchemist and Smoke DZA. Last year, Gunn and Conway became the first Buffalo rappers to sign with a major label when they signed their independent label Griselda Records to Eminem’s Shady Records.
There has never been anything more chill than Bane’s World. The jazz-influenced, atmospheric pop project is the musical ambitions of Long Beach’s own Shane Blanchard. Inspired by the woozy, dreamy sounds of King Krule, Blanchard began recording material in high school in his parents’ garage. All of the material is written, recorded, mixed and mastered by Blanchard himself. There must be a method to his madness because he’s already garnered some notable fans including Tyler, The Creator.
Buscabulla is the Puerto Rican-born, Brooklyn-based post-chillwave act composed of Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo Del Valle. The boyfriend and girlfriend duo got their start when they won a Guitar Center contest that granted them the opportunity to work with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange. Hynes executive produced their debut EP Caer and the project was released in 2014 through hybrid clothing/record label Kitsuné.
John Maus is a Minnesota-born experimental artist and close collaborator of Ariel Pink. Known for his lo-fi production and use of vintage synthesizers and cassette recorders, Maus built a cult following with the release of his debut projects despite generally unfavorable reviews from critics. Between 2012 and 2016, Maus spent much of his time in isolation and built all of the instruments that were used to create his third album, Screen Memories. In addition to his musical career, Maus holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Hawaii.
Snail Mail is the solo project of Maryland rocker Lindsey Jordan. Everyone wants to be in a band when they’re 15-years old but Jordan did more than dream – her single “Thinning” from Snail Mail’s debut EP was added to Pitchfork’s Best New Track series and she even requested her high school principal to sign a release form allowing her to take the project on their first tour. Now 17-years old, Jordan is busy balancing college classes and working on Snail Mail’s debut project due out this summer on Matador Records.
ROLLING BLACKOUTS COASTAL FEVER
Australian indie rockers Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever describe themselves as “tough pop, soft punk” but the Melbourne five-piece outfit delivers a uniquely youthful energy reminiscent of ’80s rock packed with Aussie songwriting. Signed to Seattle label Sub Pop Records, Rolling Blackouts C.F. follow a wave of new Australian sound like Courtney Barnett and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard but stand apart from the crowd with their guitar-driven melodies and garage band-like performances.