Artists to Follow – Coachella 2011


We are less than 1 month away from one of the largest US music festivals to date – Coachella!  In the Coachella Valley (about 12 miles outside of Palm Springs) during the weekend of April 14th, you will get a sampling of the most recognizable beat mixers and singers in music today.  You are also given a chance to discover those artists that only come around once in a decade.

There are a whole slew of artists you already love – The Chemical Brothers, The Strokes, Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Cee Lo Green.  Heck, they even got Duran Duran to perform!  However, Coachella is about discovering artists you might otherwise overlook.

Even if you can’t make it to the festival, make certain you look up these relative new comers that will surely be names you hear in the future (and I guarantee knowing these artists will make you cooler at parties):

  1. Hurts – From Manchester, Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson have a combined sound that is similar to Hall and Oates.  That said, with such original lyrical work and talent for live performance, you will be transformed by their unique sound and a theatrical concert experience.  A song and visual experience to enjoy would be 2009’s, “Wonderful Life.”
  2. Raphael Saadiq – While he’s not new to the music scene, he might be new to you.  Originally a member of “Tony! Toni! Toné!”, Saadiq won a Grammy for his first solo album, “Instant Vintage” back in 2002 and has enjoyed massive industry success as a solo artist since.  Be sure to check him out and listen for “Staying In Love”.
  3. Freelance Whales – An Indie-pop sound from New York, Freelance Whales utilize the often underestimated banjo in majority of their music.  The 5-member group’s debut LP, “Weathervanes” met enough success to warrant a US tour.  Together since 2009, you will instantly fall in love with their distinct sound and intoxicating lyrics. A song to listen for (and then put on repeat) is, “Generator 2nd Floor.”
  4. Trampled By Turtles – My personal fave – From Minnesota, this 5-member group is all male and has 4 previously released albums but haven’t quite popped on the radio yet.  I love them because they utilize the banjo but mix it effortlessly with both the mandolin and the fiddle.  Listen for “Victory” and relax with their liquid sound.

Coachella is doing what major recording labels are having trouble mastering – selling out shows of artists otherwise unheard of (a lot of whom are on independent labels) and it’s forever changing the opportunities for the young, undiscovered musicians and DJ’s out there.  How lovely…

– Kate