Modestep – Coming from London, this act brings dubstep to life with a full band and lead singer, incorporating the best of both worlds into one high-energy blast of dynamic dance-floor electro-rock. These guys have the potential to take the dubstep sound to the next level in America (not to mention attract lots more mainstream fans). Check their awesome video for “Sunlight,” which features senior citizens partying harder than most ravers.
Little Green Cars – This melodic, folk-tinged group out of Dublin, Ireland, aren’t too far from the campfire sounds of similar acts like Of Monsters and Men, the Lumineers and Mumford and Sons (who share the same American record label, Glassnote). Boasting shimmering vocal harmonies and well-crafted songs, Little Green Cars’ lush, gorgeous sound is primed for breakout popularity in the States and beyond.
Beardyman – This British beat-boxer combines the mouth gymnastics of the legendary Rahzel with a sparkling wit and interactive, often comedic live shows. He can get one hell of a dance party started, too. Performing with a battery of electronic gear, Beardyman has already generated a legion of fans (a live set posted to Youtube in 2009 has generated more than 4.5 million views), expect his high-energy Coachella set to earn him even more followers.
Mona – Blasting straight out of the American Midwest, this hard-rocking band conjure big, anthemic lighters-in-the-air tunes (like “Shooting The Moon”) ready to explode out of cars stereos and pack concert arenas. From their slicked-back, 1950’s style to the group’s catchy, sing-a-long choruses, Mona makes music designed to be as big, sexy and loud as possible.
Jake Bugg – After blazing to the top of the UK charts with his eponymous debut album, this 18-year-old British singer-songwriter has set his sights on American success. Nominated for British Breakthrough Act at this year’s BRIT Awards in England, Bugg’s reedy vocals and sparse, emotional tunes that incorporate classic country have already found him compared to none less than Bob Dylan, and will surely have some young hearts swooning in the desert heat.
Given Coachella’s expansive line-up this year, this list just scratches the surface of the sonic wonders to be discovered at this year’s desert fest. From hilarious white rapper Action Bronson to the “trap-rave” of Baauer to the feel-good dance vibes of Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, there is a plethora of great music to be found all over Coachella 2013. All you have to do is look for it.
-Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local