[Coachella 2011 Artist Spotlights] BuzzBands, Part 1: Crystal Castles, Sleigh Bells, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffitti, Marina & The Diamonds, Here We Go Magic, Glasser, Gypsy & The Cat
Coachella may have a ton of popular “mainstream” bands playing, bona-fide superstars, and even firmly entrenched indie bands with a radio-friendly hit or two tucked into their guitar case, but the biggest appeal to Coachella are all the primed-for-world-domination buzzbands.
Those hard-working, fresh-faced, stars-in-their-eyes small bands always get us a little creamy with joy inside–and there are so many of them this year. Some of them you may have heard of in the blog-o-sphere or seen opening for a bigger act; some of them are practically unknowns, but they come with the same fearless energy as a veteran artist.
BuzzBand#1: Crystal Castles
Drowned in Sound aptly describes Canadian indie-electronica band [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Crystal Castles [/lastfm]as a “ferocious, asphyxiating sheets of warped two-dimensional Gameboy glitches and bruising drum bombast that pierces your skull with their sheer shrill force, burrowing deep into the brain like a fever.”
Crystal Castles two self-titled albums from 2008 and 2010 sound like making love during an electrical storm. Producer Ethan Kath and vocalist Alice Glass’ detached, yet magnetic dance music is lo-fi enough to haunt the senses and dynamic enough to get a frenzied, throbbing beat around the listener. Crystal Castles have toured with[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Blur[/lastfm], played many festivals, and their highest charting single is the venerable [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Robert Smith [/lastfm]from [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]The Cure [/lastfm]called “Not In Love.”
BuzzBand #2: Glasser
Comprised of Angeleno, Cameron Mesirow, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Glasser [/lastfm]is a dreamy, gorgeous electro-pop project with a name inspired by a vision Mesirow had of a figure floating about water. Touring during 2010 with popular indie-electronica acts like [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]The XX[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Sigur Ros[/lastfm], Mesirow’s sound is both lushly psychedelic and architecturally avant-garde. One of her most popular singles of her début album, Ring, is the Bollywood-tinged, tribal drums-esque “Apply.”
BuzzBand #3: Sleigh Bells
Crunchy noise-pop duo, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Sleigh Bells[/lastfm], are signed to [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]M.I.A[/lastfm].’s NEET label and debuted their first album, Treats, in 2010.
After wooing over audiences at CMJ in 2009, Derek E. Miller (songwriter, guitarist, producer) and Alexis Krauss (vocals) of Sleigh Bells have played their critically acclaimed brand of audacious, frenetic electro-punk at major venues and festivals all over the country. Their most popular single to date is the brash, celebratory hipster party anthem, “Tell ‘Em.”
BuzzBand #4: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Los Angeles-based freak folk, neo-psychedelica artist, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Ariel Pink[/lastfm], records most of his music at home creating an incredibly lo-fi sound–including the percussion noises he makes with his mouth or armpits. Pink’s music is trippy and irreverent, so much so that Pink is quotes in LA Weekly as saying,
“People boo me everywhere…They don’t even hide their contempt. I’m used to it now…Hey, I’m giving audiences the real thing…For better or worse, I’m out there, and those are the circumstances. People don’t like it when it seems like you don’t know what’s happening, or I’m getting bummed out with certain aspects and I can’t hide it. I think people feel that pain and just think it’s bad.”
Pink has released nine full-length albums, the last including a song Pitchfork deemed as the number one song of 2010, “Round and Round.”
BuzzBand #5: Gypsy & The Cat
Coming from Melbourne, Australia, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Gypsy & The Cat [/lastfm]are a relatively new electro-pop duo who gleaned much of their musical knowledge from being house club DJs. 20-something year olds, Xavier Bacash & Lionel Towers, then began to make music in their garage including the lush, sprawling dreampop tune “Time To Wander,” which sounds like the French pop (i.e.[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Phoenix)[/lastfm] that they once claimed to be so horrible at creating.
Listen to “Time To Wander’ and you’ll disagree. These boys are primed to be stars.
BuzzBand #6: Marina & the Diamonds