Hundreds of thousands of music fans will flock to Indio, Calif., starting today for the three-day Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. They will bake in the sun and watch performances by Jay-Z, Muse, the Gorillaz, Charlotte Gainsbourg, She & Him’s Zooey Deschanel, Phoenix, Gary Numan and more than 100 other live acts. Here are some of the up-and-coming bands to watch.
Home: Jamaica Sound: Futuristic reggae by mix masters Diplo and Switch.
Style: Military chic befitting Major Lazer, a fictitious Jamaican commando created by the duo.
Fun Fact: Most of their 2009 album, “Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do,” was recorded at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong studios in Jamaica.
The Avett Brothers
Sound: Rootsy rock with a bit of punk dissonance
Style: With bassist Bob Crawford, brothers Scott and Seth Avett are scruffy Southern boys who switch between Costume National suits, Americana-inspired sportswear by Rag & Bone and Western duds from Wrangler and Ely.
Buzz: Their earnest, emotional songs won over uberproducer Rick Rubin, who signed the band to his label, American Recordings, in 2008.
This story first appeared in the April 16, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Band of Skulls
Hometown: Southampton, England
Sound: Foot-stomping rock
Style: Singer Russell Marsden and drummer Matt Hayward stick with Ts, jeans, leather jackets and scruffy beards, while bassist Emma Richardson is a dead ringer for the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde with her shaggy pageboy.
Fun Fact: “Twilight” fans will recognize the rollicking riffs in the song “Friends” from the megahit film “New Moon.”
Sound: Dream pop that touches on longing, heartbreak and anger
Style: Victoria Legrand has eclectic tastes that range from cut-off shorts to high-waisted pants and vintage hats; Alex Scally has been wearing a lot of black.
Buzz: The duo has burnished their indie cred by playing at the Sundance Film Festival.
Style: Singular band member Joel Zimmerman wears standard T-shirts and jeans, plus a giant, costume mouse head. (Deadmau5 is pronounced “dead mouse.”)
Buzz: He performed for his fellow Canadians at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Hometown: Brisbane, Australia
Sound: A classically trained voice that bops across octaves, often compared with Cyndi Lauper.
Style: As if Alice in Wonderland went to a rave. Buzz: “Are You F***king Kidding Me (The Facebook Song)” — a ballad about her failed attempt to connect with an ex on Facebook — has become a viral hit on the Internet.
King Khan and the Shrines
Sound: Psychedelic rhythm & blues.
Style: Leisure suits, kurtas, man-dresses and donkey teeth necklaces that purportedly ward off evil.
Fun Fact: King Khan (aka Erick Khan) credits his wife, Lil, with making the outrageous costumes for him and the eight-piece band.
Hometown: Gothenburg, Sweden
Sound: Space-age electronica grounded by a soulful voice
Style: Håkan Wirenstrand, Fredrik Wallin and Erik Bodin are sound nerds who wear whatever is given to them, while singer Yukimi Nagano collaborates with Swedish designer AnnLouise Landelius for avant-garde getups.
Fun Fact: Raised in a family of artists, Nagano enlisted her father to animate the band’s video “Swimming.”
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Sound: A soulful crooner
Style: Don Draper if he were raised by Hollywood hipsters.
Fun Fact: Fans include Justin Timberlake and Mark Ronson.
Home: New York and Stockholm.
Sound: Vampire Weekend goes electro-pop.
Style: Silk bowling jackets.
Fun Fact: Members include songwriter Andrew Wyatt, and producers Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, the men responsible for Britney Spears’ hit “Toxic.”
Home: Cambridge, Mass.
Sound: Wonky pop racked with upbeat melodies and a catchy synthesizer.
Style: Revenge of the Nerds.
Fun Fact: The term “passion pit” refers to intimate drive-in movie theaters.
Hometown: Leeds, England
Sound: High-energy party music
Style: Self-described “2012 punk rock.”
Buzz: Having coproduced M.I.A.’s new album, Rusko (born Chris Mercer) is now on tour with Major Lazer and waiting for his own album to drop next month.
Hometown: South West London
Sound: Sultry indie-punk.
Style: Anything goes, as long as it’s black
Buzz: Rolling Stone magazine ranked their album ninth for “Best of the Year” in 2009.