Los Angeles never has a shortage of the following: kale, Uggs, traffic, and talented musicians. As Hollywood is preparing to descend upon Indio for the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this weekend at the Empire Polo Club (headliners for 2016 including Sia, Ellie Goulding, Calvin Harris, Guns N’ Roses, and even Ice Cube), I wanted to shine a spotlight on some of the local Los Angeles artists who will be making the trek to the Indio Valley alongside the heavy hitters.
Style of Music: House
Set Time: Saturday, 1:30-2:15pm at Heineken House
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the DJ LondonBridge and have been ever since I had the chance to meet him this past New Year’s at his very first festival performance. Rami Perlman is the co-founder of Space Yacht and began producing music under the moniker LondonBridge roughly two years ago. As if his light-hearted house music and knack for throwing seriously fun parties that provide free pizza wasn’t enough, Perlman won me over with this quote:
“I want to make stuff that I want to listen to and I want to dance to in my room, and that’s the idea when you come to a LondonBridge show. I want you dancing like you are in your room and no one is watching because that’s the best time and when you are most free and that’s when music changes you.”
Style of Music: Indie Pop
Set Time: Saturday, 12:45-1:15pm at The Mojave Stage
Each member of Los Angeles pop band PHASES (formerly known as JJAMZ) has performed at Coachella before in differing phases of their careers. However, 2016 marks the first year this band composed of longtime friends Z Berg, Jason Boesel, Alex Greenwald, and Michael Runion is heading to the desert as a team. With single “I’m In Love With My Life” reaching #4 on Billboard’s Club chart and the group earning ink on the pages and pixels on the screens of NYLON, Buzzfeed, Flavorwire, USA Today, Vanity Fair, Billboard, InStyle, Entertainment Weekly, PopSugar, and more, they are sure to bring an excellent dance-pop flavor to Indio Valley.
“This band has always been totally collaborative,” says Berg. “Alex and I came from bands where we wrote everything ourselves. Now we write everything together. Any new experience is very exciting for me, and we wanted to take advantage of group creativity. The songs sound fun because it was fun. I had never written songs about anything fun before in my life. ‘I’m in a great mood, let’s write a song about it!’”
3. Dreamers Delight
Style of Music: “Electronic Music For Dreamers”
Set Time: Friday, 2-3:15pm @ The Do Lab Stage
Reed Krafft began Dreamers Delight in 2013 after years of working behind the scenes in the music industry. With a unique perspective cultivated from influences Krafft obtained traveling the world combined with beautiful melodies, Dreamers Delight sounds unlike anything that you’ll hear at the other stages.
“The music that I’m working on is representative of my unique experience, which makes it a little different than what’s being put out elsewhere,” says Krafft. “There’s raw energy flowing, uplifting feels, and melodies that are meant to push you to a point of reflection — of oneself, the world, and universe around us. My vision is to have my music reflect a clear divide and refreshing break from the norm.”
Style of Music: Futuristic R&B
Set Time: Sunday, 4:50pm @ Sahara Tent with Surprise Special Guests
Tokimonsta takes her name from “Toki,” the Korean word for rabbit, and the hyperbolic hip-hop term “monsta.” A producer and DJ from Los Angeles, Jennifer Lee is known for her unique take on indie electronic/R&B/dance music. This is a result of a classical upbringing mixed with an eclectic personal taste in music that has brought tons of praise and attention from LA Music Blog as well as many other media outlets, including BBC Radio1, KCRW (LA), DJ Mag, The Guardian, Paper, LA Times, MTV, Billboard, and even Rolling Stone.
In an interview with Red Bull, Tokimonsta said, “The thing that’s really consistent with a lot of the music that I liked listening to growing up was the production.” She continued, “It was the way it moved you — I think that’s what’s different about hip hop versus other genres. When you listen to hip hop, there’s a reason why everyone wants to bob their head…Rock drums can be a lot more intricate, but it won’t make your body sway back and forth in the same way.”
5. The Dead Ships
Style of Music: Alt-Pop Rock
Set Time: Saturday, 12:05-12:45pm @ The Gobi Stage
This trio (guitarist/vocalist Devlin McCluskey, drummer Christopher Spindelilus, and bassist Alex Moore) has been described as the lovechild between Alabama Shakes and The Black Keys. Since premiering the video for their single “You Were Young” on MTVu in 2012, they’ve been perfecting their blend of garage rock with a bit of R&B. Their first full-length album, Electric Ahab, is set for release this summer, so expect an LP filled with stripped-down guitars and with a little grunge in its DNA.
In describing The Dead Ships’ single “Company Line,” McCluskey told Consequence Of Sound, “So many things seem intentionally set up to give you the sensation of falling. And I think when people feel out of options, they’ll pull whatever ripcord they can find. I started writing about buying into things that no one ever wanted, how and why that happens, and what it feels like to be stuck in that place, but I think it ended up more like an ole fashioned f*ck-tha-man song (which I’m completely on board with). Fascism does seem to be in fashion these days.”