Coachella: What 2015’s Lineup Tells About The Year Ahead In Music

Coachella might take place thousands of miles away from British soil, but the swanky desert fest tells us a lot about what we can expect to happen on home turf this summer. It’s always the first full line up to be delivered and this year’s bill – which dropped last night – is a veritable musical almanac for 2015. Much like last year, which saw Arcade Fire, Muse and Outkast topping the line-up, you can put money on the Coachella headliners pulling similar turns over in the UK. For instance, AC/DC’s Coachella headline spot will add fire to speculation Glastonbury is also on the cards, while those of a betting nature might now put a tenner on Jack White to take the top spot at Reading and Leeds. Meanwhile, Drake – who still needs to make up for last year’s Wireless no-show – has now entered the running for a slot at V Festival’s twin sites.

Following the Stone Roses debacle of 2013 – in which the baggy icons drew a breathtakingly tiny crowd – the line-up is also an interesting gauge of which UK acts have broken the US and which haven’t. Kasabian might be more than capable of headlining a UK festival but they’re way down on the Coachella bill, suggesting the States still haven’t fallen for their Ee-Zeh charm. It’s not a perfect lineup, lacking a big blockbuster one-of-a-kind headline booking like Dre and Snoop’s 2012 turn on the main stage, a big reunion like last year’s Outkast comeback, and much in the way of female performers (‘Brochella’ some have taken to calling this year’s festival on social media). But it still packs a punch. Here are some predictions for the year ahead based on the Coachella 2015 line-up.

Florence’s new album is dropping ASAP

She might have been keeping unnaturally quiet when it comes to her album plans, but it was achingly obvious that the third Florence + The Machine LP would be coming later this year thanks to the raft of European festivals she’s already announced. However, the addition of Coachella to Flo and co’s busy schedule means we’ll probably be hearing the new record before she takes to the palm tree-lined Empire Polo Field stage. Otherwise how will she expect us to holler along with all those new songs and – more importantly – sell shedloads of albums off the back of her performance?

EDM still rules…

In the UK, bands are still the biggest draws at festival. Not so at Coachella, where the DJ is king. Last year, the aircraft hanger-like Sahara tent – which fits a whopping 20,000 people and is bigger than an American football field – was consistently crammed, with Skrillex and his ilk playing to swarming crowds from morning to night. This year looks set to carry on the bleeping, boshing and dropping, with Axwell Λ Ingrosso, Alesso, Kaskade and a host of other artists who sound like washing machine manufacturers billed above the likes of Ryan Adams and St Vincent. Start decanting that molly water now.

…But dad rock also reigns

It’s not all sweaty bangers from poker-faced Euro-bros with Ken doll hair and the kind of jaw you could open a beer bottle on. This year’s curveball booking comes in the shape of dad rock legends Steely Dan, who’ll be plying the crowd with the jazz-funk rock riffs of ‘Do It Again’ and ‘Dirty Work’. The nu-dads are out in full force too, with The War on Drugs and Father John Misty bringing an extra dose of double denim. Scary dads Swans will also be in attendance, just in case any kids get too rowdy and need to packed off back to their tents with no supper and nightmares that will last a lifetime.

Breakthrough bands

It’s not just Kasabian who are loitering at the bottom of the bill – bless. It’s also where you’ll find all the acts set to break through in the months after the on-site ferris wheel’s been dismantled and the last feathers have fluttered on those culturally insensitive headdresses. Indie-electro soul duo Sylvan Esso, Ellie Goulding-alike Ryn Weaver, blues punk Benjamin Booker and plugged in folkie Angel Olsen are our picks of artists to rise to new heights following these small sets.