My God, Coachella nailed it this year. Once you read below the headliners (which are totally respectable so stop complaining), you discover a wealth of artists that have put out the best of the best music over the past couple of years. Coming off of 2014’s killer combo of Ellie, Lana & Lorde, we were kinda worried that they’d slack on The Girl Power this year. MAN were we wrong. Here is a run down of eight bad-ass chicks that are holding it down for the ladies in the desert this year…
1. Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes)
BLESSED BE. Brittany Howard and her roots-rock comrades have returned with more power and soul than ever. “Don’t Wanna Fight” is the initial single off of the upcoming Sound & Color release and it delivers every piece of heartfelt grit we’re looking for. Her melodies remain as catchy and contagious as the latest Taylor Swift obsession but the strength of the sound is on par blues-rock favorites such as The Black Keys and Kings of Leon. You won’t want to miss this emotional powerhouse of a performance. I will probably cry happy tears for the entirety of the set.
Photo by Joe del Tufo
2. Lykke Li
This beautifully gloomy goddess is one of my favorites of this new sad girl brand of pop. Her sound is spacey but balanced so well with her electronic effect. Onstage, her otherworldly dark-angel vibes that are borderline hypnotizing. Her newest album is excellent and will provide a dense, varied performance that (I think) would work well as a nighttime set in the Gobi tent. She’s weird as hell but the music is so catchy and captivating. This will be cinematic and epically gorgeous, leaving you in a state of awe and intrigue.
Photo by Justin Yee
3. FKA Twigs
Ah yes, The Exotic Queen of Strange and Beautiful. FKA is arguably one of the world’s most unique and visionary talents. With a background in professional dance and creative direction of every kind, there is no doubt that this will be a perfectly curated performance in every sense. There are no oversights or under-thoughts in Twigs’ world. From Pitchfork to Billboard, this has already become one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend(s). And with a new album on the horizons, there should certainly be some new sounds. FKA recently released the self-directed video for her new song “glass + patron” and I have a feeling that s*** is going to BANG live.
Photo via Mixmag
4. Florence & The Machine
FINALLY SHE’S BACK! This fire goddess has been igniting the airwaves with some of the most solid, beautiful material we’ve ever heard. Her soaring, regal presence is commanding through speakers, but on stage – she is bewitching. And she rocks the f*ck out. Her unique, rich tone has only matured – it reminds me of the majestic leading women of the 60’s and 70’s. As if her new material hasn’t been enough to entice you, don’t forget all of the life-changing anthems from her previous release. This will be one of those once-in-a-lifetime-sing-along moments in your life. You would be FOOLISH to miss this set.
Photo by Don Arnold via Ocean Drive
5. Alison Wonderland
This badass lady-boss is my fave Australian export of the year. She’s only pint-sized, but she packs an EDM punch that many producers can only dream of. She began as a classically trained cellist, and the musicality of that endeavor shines through in every hit she feeds us. At moments her sound is smoldering and sexy, at others it is massive and heart-pounding. Goddamn I want to be friends with this chick. We all know how vastly under-represented females are in the electronic industry, so do your part and get out to the Sahara tent for a high-octane daytime set to support my new bae.
Photo via LifeWithoutAndy.com
6. Marina & The Diamonds
The lovely Marina Diamandis has been an underground pop-sensation for years, but after her video for “Heartbreaker” went pseudo-viral she was finally breaking into the mainstream a bit. Her retro-glam image and playful-but-kinda-dark sound has always been a cult hit for the gals and the gays alike. Landing somewhere between electro-pop & alt-pop, she provides something refreshing and intensely danceable. I predict this set at Coachella being the spark that sets the Marina & The Diamonds wild fire. My girl Marina is about to BLOW UP.
Photo via Jimmy Kimmel
7. Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent)
Annie Clark is a singular sensation all her own. Teetering carefully between manic happiness and glorious madness, her music is a whirlwind of instruments and complex composition. Despite her adorable, almost doll-like image, she can rip a guitar to shreds. She is one of the most talented guitarists performing right now – and it just comes out of nowhere. Her creativity and vision know no limits—its striking, emotional and provocative. There is nobody like her. This performance is certain to be one of the most memorable of the weekend(s).
Photos by Wei Shi via Consequence of Sound
We’ll see how this goes. There is no denying that “Hideaway” is one of the most infectious songs/videos of the year--but can she hold up in a live show? Some YouTube clips I’ve seen have proven otherwise but I’m really, really rooting for her. I’m expecting (hoping) her to blow my shady-self out of the water with vocal chops galore. Also, with some uber-famous friends (Diplo, Skrill-dawg, Missy etc), I wouldn’t rule out some super exciting guest appearances. If all goes according to plan, this will be a femme-powered disco party for the ages. BRB… memorizing the entire dance routine.
Photo via Hit The Floor