The lineup for the 2022 edition of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival finally arrived on Wednesday night, though its headliners – Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, Billie Eilish and Harry Styles – leaked in the days. and the previous hours.
And perhaps more than any pre-pandemic year, it’s hard programming to assess.
There are a good number of returnees from the 2020 lineup who weren’t supposed to be, 21 Savage, Carly Rae Jepsen and Hot Chip among them, although this year’s headliners – Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean – are absent.
And while 2019, the last Coachella we had, featured a global and diverse mix of acts – BLACKPINK from South Korea, J Balvin from Colombia, Burna Boy from Nigeria – Coachella continued its global reach, with acts from Asia. particularly well represented.
So while there’s a lot more research to do – some of these artists weren’t on Coachella’s radar two years ago, after all – we’re going to take our first step in running the lineup through our InstantLineupAnalyzer. and see which five themes for 2022 our trusty machine spits out.
1. Pop rocks: Billie Eilish is cool pop. Harry Styles is pop rock. And Carly Rae Jepsen, well, she’s my queen. Pop has traditionally meant softer stuff, songs, and artists that have sold a ton of records. But here we will argue that this is simply music with compelling melodies, cleverly crafted and aimed directly at the hearts of its listeners.
Some of it is really standout: If you’ve seen a Harry Styles show you know how much he loves 70s rock, and Phoebe Bridgers does more low-volume singer-songwriter rock.
Some are introspective: Japanese Breakfast writes beautiful songs that create strong emotional bonds. Others, like Doja Cat, whose place in the lineup is much higher now than it was in 2020, come from a hip-hop aspect.
If it’s a song you want to sing along to and it touches you, no matter how much it sells for, we call it pop.
2. The ascending effect: As in 2020, music company 88rising gets special billing on the Coachella 2022 lineup poster, with a slogan at the bottom promising Head In The Clouds Forever, a tribute to its festival that 88rising in general champions Asian and American artists. of Asian origin.
Scattered across the lineup are names that just played the third Head In The Clouds festival in Pasadena a few months ago: Niki, Rich Brian, Joji, Beabadoobee and Japanese Breakfast among them.
But the diversity of the programming goes beyond this one company and festival. Japan’s Kyary Pamyu Pamyu returns from the 2020 lineup, and heavy metal Mongols, the Hu, are also back.
3. Rock or pebblesQ .: If a Coachella 2005 time traveler happened on this lineup, he wouldn’t know what to think of the rock bands on the bill, or the lack of them. It’s not by far a new trend, but with Rage Against the Machine leaving a headlining spot, it seems more evident this year.
You still have some good choices though. British Irish band Idles is a great post punk band. English electronic rock band Spiritualized will transport you to a distant and groovy cloud. King Gizzard of Australia and the Lizard Wizard are trafficking psychedelics. I look forward to Måneskin, the Italian hard rockers who won the last Eurovision Song Contest.
4. Rap still reigns: With former Kanye West headlining again this year, rap has a prestigious place in the lineup. But the undercard is also solid: 21 Savage, Megan Thee Stallion, Run The Jewels, Brockhampton and Lil Baby are sure to draw huge crowds.
5. New faces and eccentrics: Every Coachella has a good chunk of acts that you really want to have to catch. It could be rising stars like Yola or Caroline Polachek or older statesmen like Fatboy Slim and Richie Hawtin.
Others might not fit a mold perfectly: Danny Elfman is both an acclaimed film composer and the frontman of the beloved and late Oingo Boingo. What he does at Coachella will attract one of the widest age groups of any ensemble.
Orville Peck is the masked Canadian country singer – that’s what I’m here for. The Avalanches were fantastic the last time they played in the desert – I’ll be back for them.