warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

7 Non-Headliners You Can’t Miss On Coachella Weekend

Caitlin Plummer |
February 13, 2014 | 12:09 p.m. PST

Staff Writer

Austra (via Twitter/@svanapaper)
Austra (via Twitter/@svanapaper)
The long-awaited 2014 Coachella lineup was announced on January 8, boasting the reunited OutKast, Muse and Arcade Fire as headliners in addition to well-known artists like Lorde, Ellie Goulding, Pharrell Williams, Calvin Harris, Kid Cudi and Lana Del Ray. Yet each day of the festival promises approximately fifty acts, about half of which are ultimately looked over, listed in the tiny, cramped font below the headliners and more prominent names. It’s possible one or two of these acts sound familiar, but if not, don’t worry.

Here are seven lesser-known Coachella artists you might be sorry you missed:



Dum Dum Girls

Their music almost reminds you of: Best Coast

Listen to: “Bedroom Eyes”

Dum Dum Girls manage to relay an undeniably beachy vibe in every song, regardless of whether it’s upbeat like “Bedroom Eyes” or an unorthodox ballad like “Coming Down," a likely result of their signature twanging guitar chords and sunny origin, Los Angeles. Lead singer and songwriter Dee Dee Penny sings with an ease that almost seems like she’s not trying, but it quickly becomes apparent that she doesn’t have to; her voice effortlessly switches registers in a split second. Just sit back and let Dum Dum Girls take you to the SoCal beaches.



Their music almost reminds you of: Florence + the Machine

Listen to: “Lose It”

With a leading voice that eerily resembles Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine, Austra’s use of unique electronic melodies creates songs that are ethereal and captivating. The band, formed in Toronto, debuted their first single “The Beat and The Pulse” in early 2011 and since has released two full-length albums: "Feel It Break" in May of 2011 and more recently, "Olympia" in 2013. The performance at Coachella is sure to be a fun atmosphere, as The Guardian’s Rebecca Nicholson described "Olympia" as “sweeping up ['Feel It Break’s'] more introspective, bedroomy inclinations and dumping them in the middle of the dancefloor.” This dance floor will just happen to be outside.



Bear Hands

Their music almost reminds you of: Empire of the Sun (which you can also find on Coachella’s Day Two lineup)

Listen to: “Crime Pays”

Bear Hands is a quartet that came out of Brooklyn in 2007 with their debut EP "Golden." Since those early days, the band has transitioned from their original Killers-esque sound into a unique genre of their own. Some songs offer an electronic vibe, like “Crime Pays,” while others resemble a more traditional alternative interpretation, like their brand new single “Agora,” which was released on iTunes of January 27. Regardless of the song and its particular sound, you’re guaranteed to hear a lot of falsetto from lead vocalist Dylan Rau accompanied by bursts of singing in his natural register, usually in the chorus and sometimes even into the bridge. After all, why mess with a method if it works?



Their music almost reminds you of: The Strokes

Listen to: “Luv, Hold Me Down”

Pairing the vocals of the Strokes with the upbeat energy of the Drums, Drowners have managed to debut an album of catchy tracks that make you feel like you’re carelessly driving by the beach just as the sun is starting to set. Their self-titled album was only released on January 28, but their Coachella slot should hopefully get them a little more publicity. It shouldn’t hurt that their front man Matt Hitt is a Welsh model.


White Lies

Their music almost reminds you of: Everything Everything

Listen to: “There Goes Our Love Again”

White Lies is one of the older groups on this list, originating in London, England in 2004 under the name Fear of Flying. After releasing two “neo-Brit-pop singles,” as iTunes describes them, the trio changed their name and changed their direction and has since released three full-length albums. White Lies has an undeniably unique sound under lead singer Harry McVeigh, whose deep and soulful voice is a refreshing contribution to the alternative genre’s typical higher-register vocals (just listen to Passion Pit or Phoenix). This low voice, in conjunction with a dance beat that delightfully resembles something that would be found in the 1980s, makes the hit “There Goes Our Love Again” an irresistible anthem. Go ahead. Try not to sing along.




Their music almost reminds you of: Odd Future

Listen to: “Canal”

RATKING, a hip-hop group out of New York City, hit the live music scene in 2012 and signed with a label by the end of the year. A background busy with sound effects and varying beats accompanies RATKING’s aggressive, unconventional raps, making each production a unique departure from popular rap. The group consists of two rappers, Patrick “Wiki” Morales and MC Hak, and producer Sporting Life. Their debut EP, "Wiki93," was released in November 2012 with seven tracks. Their first full-length album, "So It Goes," is set to be released on iTunes on April 8, 2014.


James Vincent McMorrow

His music almost reminds you of: James Blake

Listen to: “Cavalier”

James Vincent McMorrow caught attention when his debut folk album "Early in the Morning" was released in the United States in 2011. The Irish singer and songwriter has since released a second album, "Post Tropical," which has been widely interpreted as a strong entrance into the alternative R&B genre with the likes of Frank Ocean and Miguel. McMorrow’s soulful falsetto effortlessly glides into notes so ridiculously high and charged with emotion in his single “Cavalier” that one can only feel the sorrow in them. It’s a beautiful pain to be a part of.


The headliners still may be the most anticipated shows of Coachella 2014, but remember: each band received their performance slot for a reason. Just because they’re listed in the smallest font doesn’t mean they aren’t worth checking out.


Reach Staff Writer Caitlin Plummer here. Follow her on Twitter here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.