Father John Misty, Devendra Banhart and Other Local Acts Coachella-Bound
It’s that time of year again, as music lovers head to the desert for the twin weekends of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
Every year sees many local Los Angeles artists performing, including this year, with 10 connections to the Los Feliz, Silver Lake and Echo Park neighborhoods.
Here are some of the local heroes who will take the stage.
(April 14th and April 21st)
Father John Misty is the alter ego of singer-songwriter Josh Tillman. While the Echo Park-based Tillman has been making records since 2004, he released his first album as Misty in 2012. The FJM sound is ‘70s style folk-rock with often biting satirical lyrics targeting everything from modern politics to Tillman himself. The third Misty record, Pure Comedy, comes out April 7th.
Simon Green is a British musician and DJ who currently resides in Echo Park and performs under the name Bonobo. Although set times had not yet been announced at press time, Bonobo’s downbeat electro (often performed with a live band) would make for the perfect soundtrack as twilight falls upon the polo field. Bonobo’s latest album, Migration, came out in January.
Eastside based DJ Alison Swing is the co-founder of underground L.A. dance party Dig Deeper. Swing is a master crate-digger, so expect to hear obscure dance nuggets that you’ll probably never hear again. Just dance; don’t bother trying to Shazam her set.
(April 15th and April 22nd)
Fittingly named indie rockers Local Natives are from Silver Lake. Their songs often mix a percussion-forward sound, Afrobeat inspired guitar lines and off-kilter harmonies. Their 2016 record Sunlit Youth was a KCRW favorite and featured collaborations with Little Dragon, Moses Sumney and indie pop icon Nina Persson.
The women of Warpaint got their start playing in clubs like the Echo and the Satellite and still reside in the area. The band’s early work featured moody harmonies on songs like the Nirvana quoting “Undertow.” Their latest record, 2016’s Heads Up, finds them integrating some hip-hop and electronic influences into their dark indie sound.
Classixx members Michael David and Tyler Blake first met in middle school, but didn’t start making music together until 2008 when they started jamming in Blake’s Echo Park apartment. Since then the duo have gained a reputation as masters of synth pop; doing remixes, production work and even releasing two albums including last year’s Faraway Reach.
Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat, is originally from South Los Angeles but came into his own as a musician when he joined up with alt-hip-hop group Sa-Ra Creative Partners at their Silver Lake “compound.” While working with Sa-Ra, he began experimenting with jazz fusion and funk, which led to his Grammy winning appearance on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly. His third solo record, Drunk, was released in February and might be the only album to ever feature rapper Wiz Khalifa alongside soft rockers Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins.
(April 16th and April 23rd)
Electro-soul singer Sarah Grace McLaughlin performs under the name Bishop Briggs and might be the most international artist at Coachella. She was born in London to Scottish parents and raised in Tokyo and Hong Kong. She now resides on the eastside. Briggs has yet to release a full album, but her hit single “River” sounds like Florence Welch collaborating with Trent Reznor. In a fun local connection, she’s featured on Cold War Kids’ new single “So Tied Up (Los Feliz Blvd).”
Grouplove is perhaps best known for their 2011 platinum-selling indie rock party starter “Tongue Tied.” Husband-and-wife vocalists Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi live near the Silver Lake Reservoir. Big Mess, their latest collection of hooky guitar-driven indie pop, dropped in September.
Folk singer Devendra Banhart lives and records in Echo Park and will be the perfect soundtrack for those in wind down mode on Coachella’s third and final day. In September, Barnhart released his ninth record, Ape In Pink.