1. Big Thief
This Indie Rock band pulls influences from folk often- and does it in a way that fully captivates your attention. The quartet based out of Brooklyn consists of Adrianne Lenker (guitar, vocals), Buck Meek (guitar, backup vocals), Max Oleartchik (bass), and James Krivchenia (drums). This group has two LPs out- one in 2016 and one in 2017 and they are both some of the best albums of their respective year. Lenker's vocals are so soothing and captivating- and that combined with the slow soft beats and folk-inspired guitar tones create a sound that resembles Wolf Alice meets the Lumineers meets First Aid Kit. They are incredible live- and their toned-down lyrical bops are ones to not be overlooked anytime soon.
2. Declan McKenna
This magazine has honestly been waiting for a time where we could talk about Declan McKenna and how talented this kid is. At only nineteen- Declan has already built himself a significant following- both in his home country of the UK and the US. From tweeting very relevant memes and taking to festivals such as Lollapalooza, Declan already has done a lot for his age- but he's just getting started. Last summer McKenna dropped his debut LP "What Do You think About the Car?" which gained critical approval. Lead single "The Kids Don't Want To Come Home," talks about youth and the decisions kids make. McKenna is wise beyond his years in terms of songwriting- and he has the performance personality of a polished rock star.
At Lollapalooza 2016, the talk of the park was not any of the incredible headliners- but the talents of British electronic duo Snakehips. The line-up of Oliver Lee and James Carter- who first met in Hong Kong in 2012 and met up years later- decided to work together. In 2014 the duo released its first singles and major success came. Carter and Lee have sinced worked with artists such as MO and ZAYN- with chart topping hits in the UK. They collaborated with TInashe and superstar Chance The Rapper on a crowd-favorite hit "All My Friends." The group is taking festivals by storm this year- and their work is some of the best that modern electronic has to offer.
Fidlar, or stylized as FIDLAR is an on-the-rise punk rock band from LA. They have toured with the likes of The Black Lips, The Hives, and SWMRS- and now are taking to Coachella to bring their pop punk energy. FIDLAR, which stands for "Fuck It Dog, Life's a Risk" have two albums out- one in 2012 and one in 2015- both containing high energy beachy punk tracks. The group really rocks it out live and is not to be missed. They bring so much life into their sets and will get even the dullest of crowds moving. Most indie festivals have few punk acts- but this addition to the Coachella lineup is a great choice- with FIDLAR being one of the most fun acts out there.
LEON is a Swedish singer/songwriter with a lot to say. Her tracks are full of life and soul- but still maintaining an indie pop piano vibe. Her first EP featuring hit song "Tired of Talking" came out in 2015 and critics loved what they heard. LEON commends Beyonce, Amy Winehouse and Stevie Wonder as just a few of her influences. She resembles Amy Shark or Maggie Rogers- indie pop singers with so much potential. Her second EP dropped in 2017- and we are expecting new music soon! She has a lot to offer and her tracks are smooth and soulful.
6. Sir Sly
Sir Sly is an LA based indie rock band that is taking the world by storm. The trio is fronted by Landon Jacobs with Jason Suwito and Hayden Coplen accompanying him. The band has toured with some established indie rock acts- and have proven to have so much talent- both live and in the studio. Their songs have a cool almost hip-hop influence to them- with still showcasing textbook alternative qualities. Their latest LP "Don't You Worry Honey" is their best work to date- having so much dynamic synth and electric featured throughout. "High" is one of the most high-energy cool tracks the alt scene has seen in awhile. Don't sleep on this trio when they headline the fest one day!
7. The Drums
The Drums have been around for nearly a decade- and they aren't showing any sign of slowing down! Frontman Johnny Pierce keeps outdoing himself with their new records. The June release Abysmal Thoughts might be their best album to date. Pierce continues to highlight his voice and songwriting abilities in the best way possible. The Drums have such a polished feel about them- pulling influences from indie, folk and alternative influences. They manage to sound so surreal and soft- while still packing an impactful punch. Their songs tell stories effectively- especially in "Head of The Horse" off of their latest LP. This band is not one to miss live- Pierce is a fun personality live and his talent is showcased in a raw manner.