With Coachella festival kicking off very soon, we have compiled a list of our top acts to make sure you check out over the 2 weekends, some you will be familiar with, and some not so!
Actor, writer, comedian, musician....there's not much the world's favourite Donald cant do. I challenge anyone to have had a more successful 2 years than Donald Glover. Not content with playing Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Movie, and being cast as Simba in the upcoming Lion King, now, under his Music pseudonym Childish Gambino, he is a headliner of one of the worlds largest music festival. Not. Bad. At. All. Childish Gambino is pretty difficult to pigeonhole, using an eclectic mix of Hip Hop, Soul, Electronica and R & B across his music. Not only are all of his records outstanding, he also created the most buzz-worthy music video for decades with "This is America". Glover has said that he will be retiring the Childish Gambino moniker, so this may be one of the very last time to see him live. If you are heading the festival, and don't take this opportunity, you're crazy.
DAMSON RECOMMENDS: Redbone, 3005, Sober, Heartbeat
The 1975 have had an interesting ride to prominence, and not always an easy one. The 4 guys all met at school in 2002, and after going through a fair few band names, settled on The 1975. Primarily a 'pop-rock" band, and seem to swing between press darlings, to over-hyped and over-rated. While the critics can't decide on them, one thing that is for certain is their level of success. They are 3 incredibly successful albums in, and their fourth is due out in May 2019 will almost be a guaranteed smash. A lot of their success has been in their native UK, but the rest of the world are starting to pay real attention now, as shown by their inclusion on the Coachella bill. You will struggle to find a more appropriate band to watch in the beating, Coachella desert sun. Catch them now, before they inevitably become one of the biggest bands on the planet!
DAMSON RECOMMENDS: Love it if we made it, It's not living (If it's not with you), Sincerity is scary, I always wanna die (Sometimes)
You would be forgiven for thinking that Anderson .Paak has come out of nowhere, but that would be doing a disservice to the hard graft that he has been putting in over the years. Working as a Videographer, Editor, Producer and session musician across Los Angeles, he first came to prominence releasing an all covers EP in 2013, before finally his self titled debut album in 2014. This was swiftly followed up with the critically acclaimed 2016 album "Malibu". Ever since then Paak has been on a serious upward curve, culminating with being signed to Dr Dre's label Aftermath, working on the Black Panther official movie soundtrack, to releasing "Tints", the amazing collaboration with the equally talented Kendrick Lamar. It won't be long before Anderson .Paak is being talked about as one of the greatest modern hip hip musicians of all time. Plus, his music is just PERFECT for the sun! One downside is his name plays havoc with my spellcheck....
DAMSON RECOMMENDS: Tints, Bloody Waters, Come Down, Bubblin
Listening to Tame Impala, you could easily be transported to the psychedelic 1960's and 1970's, such is their style. Pyschadelic, vintage rock, with a decidedly modern feel. Formed by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker around 2007, originally as a recording project, before adding more an more people to the touring band, slowly but surely gaining a reputation as an absolute must-see live band. Make sure you catch them as one of the three headliners over the two weekends. If there was ever a band tailor-made to play in the desert, its Tame Impala.
DAMSON RECOMMENDS: The Less I Know The Better, Elephant, Let It Happen, Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
We love Weezer. Always have, always will. There's something playful, summery, and downright BRILLIANT about Rivers Cuomo and Co. Formed way back in 1992, Weezer are now 12 albums into their illustrious year. They came back into prominence again in 2018 with their amazing cover of "Africa" by Toto, which gave them their first number 1 record in the American Billboard charts for 10 years since Pork & Beans. This was swiftly followed up by a surprise album of cover songs, inspired by the success of Africa, which was dropped by surprise in January 2019. Weezer are one of those bands that never delivery a bad live performance, and Coachella 2019 is sure to be no different.
DAMSON RECOMMENDS: Buddy Holly, Pork & Beans, Memories, Africa
Christine & The Queens
Relative newcomers when it comes to commercial success, Christine & The Queens burst on to the scene in 2014 with the release of their debut album "Chaleur Humaine", featuring the brilliant "Tilted", with its genius music video accompaniment. She is usually accompanied by any number of dancers and various other artists when performing onstage, so you can bet your house on the fact that she will be inspired to put on one hell of a show at one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Miss this performance at your peril.
DAMSON RECOMMENDS: Tilted, The Walker, Girlfriend, 5 Dollars
Aphex Twin are an acquired taste, that's for sure. From their disconcerting music videos (Thanks for the nightmares, Chris Cunningham), to their trippy, out there and downright weird mix of ambient dance beats and electronic noise that Richard David James manages to produce. He has spent the last 20-25 years creating music that you could swear is designed just to mess with peoples heads, so what better act to have playing to a field full of drunk and sunburnt festival goers! He is known for putting on a hell of a light show too, so hopefully, he plays after the sun has set so you can get the full Aphex Twin experience.
DAMSON RECOMMENDS: Window Licker, Avril 14th, Come To Daddy, Ageispolis
We love us some Dev Hynes here at Damson HQ. From Test Icicles, to Lightspeed Champion, to blood orange, he is one super talented guy. Not content with having just released his fourth Album as Blood Orange, he also has writing and production credits for Solange Knowles, Blondie and Kylie Minogue, amongst others. Hynes, as Blood Orange, produces experimental electronica, funk and hip hop, flitting between dark and ambient, and summery and upbeat music. Dev also has a huge band and great backing dancers at every show, so don't be surprised if he steals the whole weekend!
DAMSON RECOMMENDS: You're Not Good Enough, Charcoal Baby, Chewing Gum, It Is What It Is
Her sister is Beyonce Knowles. You may have heard of her. Now that the most obvious point of interest about Solange is out of the way, you can concentrate on the music. And what music. An INCREDIBLE mixture of R & B, funk and soul, quite clearly heavily influenced by the Motown greats. The worst thing Solange could have done was to become Beyonce-lite, and thankfully straying just far enough away from her uber-famous sibling has helped her become a star in her own right. Don't believe us? Have a listen to 2016's "A Seat At The Table" LP. An outstanding piece of work. There are some serious musical genes in the Knowles family, that's for sure...
DAMSON RECOMMENDS: Mad, Don't Touch My Hair, Weary, Cranes In The Sky
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
New Zealand has been an absolute hotbed for talent in recent years, with Lorde, Taika Waititi and now Unknown Mortal Orchestra all receiving various levels of critical acclaim. 2 albums into their career, they appeared on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon", but it wasn't until the release of their third album that things REALLY blew up for them, especially here in the UK. Creating music that, according to NME, is "Works of warm, fuzzy beauty". It's hard to disagree with that assessment. By the look of the poster, they don't look too high up on the bill. Surely, this will be one of the last festivals where they aren't one of the main headliners.
DAMSON RECOMMENDS: Multi-Love, Hunneybee, So Good At Being In Trouble, Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays