YOUTH Radio: Coachella Playlist

by Amy

Within these profiles lies everything you need to know about the ten most intriguing artists at Coachella 2015.

1. Tame ImpalaTame Impala is a psychedelic, experimental rock band from Perth, Australia that has been around for about nine years, but became well known in 2012 with their critically acclaimed album, Lonerism. The lead singer, Kevin Parker, and bassist, Dom Simper, met at age 13 in music class. The two met drummer Jay Watson somewhere along the way. I would not be able to describe their ever-evolving sound any better than they do on their website so here it is: "Tame Impala make psychedelic hypno-groove melodic rock music. It's intended for moving one's body to, and it's intended for keeping still and observing other forms of movement. It's bombastic but it's swirling, think of the shoulder bones of a giant striding feline creature through some kind of tunnel. If Tame Impala's music reminds you of what you'd want to put on when you next visit your mind's engine room then they're happy. If not, whatever, it's just music. Put it on when the sun next shines. Basically it's all about the feeling".

2. Flying Lotus- In a past post, I described Flying Lotus's music as having the ability to "transcend into a whole new dimension, a dream world," but it is so much more than that even. His album, thematically named You're Dead!, contemplates the unknown, life after death, and all the mysterious questions that surround dying without ever being super melancholy. It is fleeting, hopeful, and confusing, all without having the pretentious attitude that most artists assume when discussing death. Flying Lotus makes music that is mostly noise; I would say instrumental, but other than his use of the jazz beats with the saxophone, drums, and horns, his music is just layered with noises. Bells, lasers, crimes, maniacal laughing, and other computer generated sounds. His music only contains words when he is featuring another artist or under his rapper alias Captain Murphy. When it does, though, it is mostly warped and being used as another instrument. Flying Lotus has the ability to take his listeners on a journey and make them see things differently, which to me is quite an achievement.  

3. Ghostface Killah and RaekwonIf you are unfamiliar with these two names, perhaps you know a little group that they were into called the Wu-Tang clan. And if you don't know about the Wu-Tang clan, then you do not know much about rap music. Ghostface and Raekwon are essential to rap music now and always. Current rappers who you admire that value originality, don't care about what other people think of them, and like to cause trouble were definitely deeply influenced by Wu-Tang growing up. Ghostface and Raekwon were two absolutely key members to the rap collective and it is an incredible gift that they are touring together again after 25 years of working together. Ghostface's raps are a fast stream-of-conciousness and tell stories while Raekwon's are really straight forward and honest while still being interesting, so the numerous songs and albums they have released together are a beautiful combination of the two types of rap. Bottom line is that they are two of the greatest MC's of all time, completely changing rap for the better, and we are all forever indebted to them. 

4. JungleJungle has brought back the funk in the best way possible. In my head while I listen to their music, I imagine them having a huge crazy dance party full of well-dressed young people who somehow know some cool secret dance that they all break out into at the same time, which is part of the reason their live show is bound to be amazing. People tend to under appreciate artists who like to make simple, fun, dance music, but sometimes you just have to let loose and get down to a beat full of synth and horns. That is where Jungle comes in. They aren't techno or EDM or anything like that, don't get me wrong, but soulful and reminiscent 1970s-esque funk. The pair, Tom McFarland and Josh Lloyd-Watson, have been making music together since they were nine and are the core of the seven-member band that has been together only since 2013. Jungle has gained some serious critical acclaim and attention in that short amount of time. Although some of their songs are practically unidentifiable from the next, I think that is a problem a lot of young bands have to overcome and in time they will branch out and take more risks musically. 

5. Vic MensaVic Mensa, 21 year old rapper from Atlanta who Kanye has recently taken under his wing (oh how Kanye loves Chicagoan rappers), released his first solo mix tape at 16 and was the front man of critically acclaimed rap group, Kids These Days before they broke up. He paved the way to success for other Chicagoan rappers like Chance the Rapper and Chief Keef who grew up in similar situations. Even he recognizes that people do not give him credit where credit is due, though. On "Orange Soda" he jokingly raps "they make lists of Chicago rappers and skip me." Vic makes meaningful yet fun and youthful music that constantly varies in tone and sound quality. He's a lyricist with a smooth flow and strong opinions, which makes for very interesting verses. Also, he is not afraid to make these really different jazzy, 80's funk beats that somehow complement his raps so perfectly. So when you talk about the who's leading the new school, don't forget Vic. 

6. Ruen Brothers- The Ruen Brothers, teenagers Henry and Rupert Stansall, are making music so different than anything else any band is doing today. Their sound is predominantly similar to classic rock from about 50 years ago, and as teenagers, the feat of pulling this sound off so well is very impressive. Unsurprisingly, they call Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and the Stones their influences. Their website notes that the brothers tie "these influences masterfully with a modern musical vernacular of big amplifiers, organic effects, and robust delivery," which is a very thorough summary of what the brothers have accomplished. Both brothers play the guitar, and as far as I can tell, both provide vocals as well. They are still a very young group with only one EP, but I see so much potential in the future of their careers; they are already opening up for George Ezra on tour. PS I have an opportunity to hang with them at Coachella so be on the lookout for more info about this up and coming band very soon(:

7. Mø- Mø, danish indie/electro pop signer, has a voice ranging everywhere from the likes of Grimes, to Florence Welch and Lorde. She layers her wispy vocals on complex beats for a surprisingly soulful product. Mø grew up in Copenhagen and started a pretty successful punk band by the time she was fourteen. Her friend and she traveled and played music all over Europe before coming to New York  in their late teens to attend art school. Ever since then she has taken a break from being the hardcore anti-fascist punk rocker and shock rapper that she was in her teens to make very chill and beautiful electronic music with her band. Her songs are all pretty similar in the way that a lot of electronic musicians' songs are, the mood being the only thing that seems to change from song to song. The pace of the music is fast but not necessarily dance music and the beats she makes are playful and reminiscent of the 80s and fun sound effects. She isn't accomplishing anything particularly revolutionary, but all of her songs are good and fun. And that is  necessary in a time where a lot of artists feel like they need to make their subject matter serious to be taken seriously. 

8. Father John MistyFather John Misty, who struggled as an unknown musician under the name Josh Tillman, realized a few years back that persona is something nobody is interested in and decided to become larger than life with the pretty ironic name he wears today. The name makes perfect sense for him, revealing his cynical nature and odd humor. His music constantly varies. In the span of three songs, it is unsurprising for him to go from discussing the unbelievable adoration he has for his wife, to confessing all of his sins, and then making a joke song about a weird drug trip he took. He can be so cynical, you start to question everything you know and so tender that your heart will hurt. His acoustic guitar, soft voice, and downright folkiness are always consistent, though, which manage to make his two albums flow very smoothly. The contrast between his tone and the mostly serious subject matter is always striking and highlights the message in his songs. He is never in a rush when he is singing and lets instruments speak for themselves as much as his in-depth, soul-bearing stories. 

9. Toro y Moi- Toro y Moi is the kind of guy who you would see sitting in the tall grass in a park somewhere surrounded by friends just kind of smiling at a flower or a puppy and taking in the beauty of his surroundings through his circle glasses. His "chill wave," indie-pop, borderline-psychedelic music belongs in the 60s, being praised at Woodstock amongst all of the tie-dye-wearing, poorly-bathed music lovers. But because he mixes in modern influences of many different genres, mainly electronic and R&B, he stays relevant. Though you may think that because Toro y Moi's music is so grounded in an era that most people today find kind of annoying and dull, his 5 studio albums, 2 EPs, and countless remixes never get boring. Toro y Moi's music is enjoyable, plain and simple. He doesn't push any boundaries and he isn't provoking listeners, but that is okay. I don't know when we as a society decided that those were requirements of making good music, but Toro y Moi proves the idea totally false. The music never gets ahead of itself--kind of a slow and steady wins the race type of thing-- and is pretty understated, which is so refreshing in a genre with music is  so overproduced and auto-tuned. Also, his new album drops April 7th, so get ready!!

10. Mac Demarco- The Canadian-turned-Brooklyn dweller, slack rocker Mac Demarco, has gained so much fame so quickly that it's hard to believe he is a gap-toothed, long-haired prankster who has a propensity for overalls, flannels, caps and clothes with holes in them and makes random internet videos for fun. Slacker does seem like the best way to describe at least his music though, seeing as the pace of his songs range from leisurely to painfully slow on any given track. Demarco's soothing voice and repetitive lyrics on top of it have the ability to make almost any song of his a beautiful lullaby. However, he meets a lot of his songs with really trippy music videos, and tends to speed them up when he is singing live. My guess for the reason behind this is that he is a guy who just wants to have fun. His music indicates that worrying about little things and being sad are two things he tries his very hardest to avoid. Still, though, some of his songs are very contemplative. He would rather enjoy the moment and do what listening to his music makes you want to do.

So, there it is. Some of the best musicians Coachella 2015 has to offer. Listen to them and more of my faves from the lineup, including Run the Jewels, The Weeknd, and Jack White, on my Coachella 2015 spotify playlist below.



  1. love mac demarco and mø sounds hella cool as lorde, grimes, and florence welch all have an amazing sound.

    1. thx for reading anon(: and ya mø is super badass