By Minna Xiao
Now that Weekend One has drawn to a close, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Indio’s annual desert smorgasbord of musical spectacle and artistry, is gearing up for its second three-day run.
This year’s headliners include rock giants Muse and Arcade Fire, and perhaps the festival’s singularly most anticipated act— rap duo OutKast, whose Weekend One performance marked the first reunion of Andre 3000 and Big Boi in nearly a decade. Hip-hop legend Nas is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his seminal debut album “Illmatic” by performing the record in its entirety, and his Weekend One set included a guest stint by Jay-Z.
The three-day lineup has its fair share of Top-40 mainstays and commercial darlings, from the precocious New Zealand chanteuse Lorde, to the sultry and polarizing Lana Del Rey to the seemingly ageless Pharrell, who is riding the momentum of a year-long streak of ubiquitous, chart-topping collaborations (“Get Lucky,” “Blurred Lines”) and his freshly released album “GIRL.”
In keeping with the ever-growing trend towards electronic music, Coachella also boasts a performance roster studded with EDM heavy hitters like Skrillex, Calvin Harris and Martin Garrix, who are guaranteed to draw huge crowds of thrumming bodies to their sets. Here’s a look at four of the most exciting acts coming to Weekend Two of Coachella.
Chance the Rapper
This Chicago native turns the ripe old age of 21 this Wednesday, and is already being hailed by some as rap’s newest golden boy. After opening for Childish Gambino’s North America tour in 2012, Chance dropped his stellar and critically-acclaimed second mixtape, “Acid Rap,” in 2013. A dynamic and energetic performer, Chance works his playfully nasal vocals with remarkable dexterity as he freewheels through funky, nostalgia-infused tracks like “Cocoa Butter Kisses,” and careens from infectious irreverence to subdued sobriety within the span of a single track on “Pusha Man/Paranoia.”
Hailing from Los Angeles, the three sisters that comprise Haim have made the art of pop rock something of a family business. Polished and effervescent, Haim’s full-length debut album Days Are Gone is unapologetically catchy and abounds with breathy vocals, indelible hooks and thumping drum beats displayed on such gems as “The Wire,” “Falling” and “Forever.”
Lyricist Lizzy Plapinger’s raw, sultry vocals, laid over Max Hershenow’s haunting and symphonic production of synthesizers and drums, create an intoxicating, ethereal ambience that defines some of the best tracks on MS MR’s debut album “Secondhand Serenade,” such as “Hurricane,” “BTSK” and “Fantasy.” The duo has also released a gleaming remix of MØ’s “Pilgrim,” while CHVRCHES, another highly anticipated Coachella act, successfully adds its own bubblegum-electronic twist to MS MR’s “Hurricanes” in a separate noteworthy remix effort.
The brothers behind Disclosure, Howard and Guy Lawrence, proved that they are a force to be reckoned with following the release of their 2013 dance record debut, “Settle.” The high-energy sound of “Settle” is a diverse but tight assemblage of pulsing pop beats, beguiling female vocalists and shimmery synths. The record also benefits from an impressive string of well-calculated, choice collaborations— Sam Smith (“Latch”), AlunaGeorge (“White Noise”) and London Grammar (“Help Me Lose My Mind”).
Contact Minna Xiao at mxiao26 “at” stanford.edu.