Record Store Day Presents Coachella
By: Michael Pasotti
The Coachella music festival is making history this year as it is spanning two consecutive weekends featuring the same acts each week. We are currently in between the two weekends and have already seen some great acts, including Snoop Dogg being joined on staged by a beautiful holographic rendering of the legendary Tupac Shakur. If you haven’t seen this clip yet then I would highly suggest it. This April 21st record store day exclusive sampler of Coachella artists is exactly the kind of showcase that can get someone excited enough to want to take part in a legendary festival such as this. The physical cd mimics the experience one might get at a large festival such as Coachella. It showcases artist’s new tracks and allows one to explore a number of different new artists all in one place.
The cd starts off with strength, using The Shins’ catchy new single, “Simple Song” to start things off. This might be the most irresistible indie pop song to hit the scene in a couple of years. James Mercer’s vocals and the underlying pianos are simply beautiful. And when Mercer’s perfectly pitchy vocals are followed by a new artist with absolutely extraordinary vocal capabilities, such as Florence + the Machine, the beauty is amplified. Florence’s newish single “No Light, No Light” is a slight departure from the clean production style of her first album. It is atmospheric instead, but her lyrics and the way she delivers them still evoke the same heart wrenching emotions and goose bumps that her first record so easily captured.
The new Kasabian track entitled “Days are Forgotten” is a refreshing blend of some of rock’s greats. It features a Jack White-esque high pitched “Ahhhhhhahahah” over a sweeping guitar riff like something off of Radiohead’s The Bends. The end of the song doesn’t disappoint either as the backing vocals break down into a growling and scratching “rawr”. In a similar vein, Band of Skulls new track “Sweet Sour” feels like something off of the Deadweather’s Horehound, however as a song it falls short of a Jack White effort. While there is a great guitar riff, because of the lack of songwriting, the song suffers.
All in all some of these tracks are not the artists’ best efforts. For instance, Andrew Bird’s “Eyeoneye”, although it includes a nice whistling part, it does not push the boundaries of his style to new territories. Another example is Swedish House Mafia’s “Save the World”. To someone who has never really listened to SHM, “Save the World” does not do enough to make one want to explore them further. Although, it may just provoke one to go to a SHM live show which would most likely prove to be a wild experience even if the music wasn’t completely up one’s alley.
Coachella has developed from more of an indie rock lover’s paradise into one of the most diverse music experiences in the U.S. With the boom of recent electronic groups and DJs, the landscape of music is changing as well as growing rapidly. While there are great indie rock cuts on this cd, it’s quite the relief to hear Jimmy Cliff’s reggae track. It comes in at the perfect time. After one has been bombarded with stellar indie and rock tracks, this light and soulful tune is exactly what this collection needed. After the refreshing reggae of Jimmy Cliff, the indie rock of Wild Beasts’ track sounds like British Sea Power. They invoke a feeling through their song “Bed of Nails”. The lead vocalist wanes and wails atop a cluttered wall of light percussion, guitar tones, and synths. The whole package is as beautiful as this record store day exclusive.
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