What does Coachella's 2019 lineup mean for us in Australia?
Let's be real - we're probably too poor to go, but that doesn't meet we won't feel the effect of the US mega-fest here in Australia.
Header photo by Zach Cordner.
Every single January, Coachella drop their annual lineup for the upcoming April event and every year, we have the same reaction: "yeah, this looks absolutely incredible and I would die to go, but let's be real, the $1.20 in my bank account probaaaabbbly doesn't stretch far enough to take me there." This year's lineup was no different, with none other than Perth/Fremantle legends Tame Impala just casually headlining the whole thing (which, by the way, is absolutely the monumental - they're the second Australian band to ever headline the event after AC/DC did a few years ago), alongside Ariana Grande and Childish Gambino, who we're all still mad at for cancelling his Australian shows a few months back.
The undercard, however, is where the festival shines. Day one sports Janelle Monáe, The 1975, Australia's own RÜFÜS DU SOL, Falls headliner Anderson .Paak, country-pop darling Kacey Musgraves, Losing It Hottest 100 hopeful FISHER, hip-hop highlights including JPEGMafia and Tierra Whack, King Princess and a whole bunch of others. Day two comes in just as strong, with none other than Solange on co-headline duties supported by Aphex Twin (!!), Billie Eilish, Christine & The Queens and Berlin-via-Byron hitmakers Parcels, while day three includes Khalid - fresh from slaying Origin Fields - alongside the live return of tech titan Gesaffelstein, CHVRCHES, Kaytranada and more.
It's a huge lineup that once again reaffirms the festival's position as one of the world's biggest and best, and while it does suck that it takes an arm and a leg to fly over and attend all the way from Australia, the lineup does hold a few hints at what Australians can expect over the next twelve months. There's the K-Pop explosion, something we're starting to feel the start of in Australia right now, the return of some of Australia's best (hey Kev) and a whole heap more, so check it all out with the full Coachella lineup below.
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1) We're probably getting a new Tame Impala album soon, and they're probably headlining Splendour
One of the biggest stand-outs of the 2019 Coachella billing is a little ol' Fremantle band called Tame Impala sitting right on top. Kevin Parker's last Tame Impala effort was way back in 2015 with their stand-out third record Currents and it's more of a well-known fact than a secret that he's been working on the next one ever since, even posting on the band's Instagram last week "New year. New shows. New sounds." Headlining Coachella above a critical darling like Solange is a big move though and one that requires some incredible new material to come, and it makes sense that we'd receive some of it - a new single or two, or maybe even the whole album - before they take the stage to close out the Saturday.
Another exciting prospect of their Coachella headline slot is that it signals the return of their live show, and with new material under their belt, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see the band use Splendour In The Grass as their homecoming return. The Splendour headliner rumour mill is still reasonably quiet - Midnight Oil's recent returning announcement and the distinct lack of major Australian shows perhaps holds some weight, but that's about it - so I'd definitely consider Tame Impala a major prospect going into the full lineup's announcement sometime in April-ish.
2) RÜFÜS DU SOL is Australia's next big international export... if they're not already
Another big Australian moment on the Coachella lineup comes in the form of RÜFÜS DU SOL, who hold an incredibly high spot on the first day just underneath electronic heavyweights such as Diplo and DJ Snake. They're billed above Falls headliner Anderson .Paak, 2018 critical break-out Kacey Musgraves, the chart-topping emo-rap success Juice WRLD and more, which signals a really exciting time for the band as they eclipse their Australian glory with some incredibly well-earnt success over in the States. This isn't a new thing - they've been selling out shows and doing festivals over there for a few years now - but with the success of SOLACE now under their belt and a huge position at Coachella, it's an easy call to say that they're our next international success.
3) The K-Pop wave is coming
Over the last twelve months, K-Pop has become one of the world's biggest genres, largely thanks to boyband phenomenon BTS and their vast army of fans that have helped push the growing group internationally. In turn, the success of BTS has seen a bunch of other K-Pop acts start to break out overseas, particularly in the US, but the effect of this hasn't really been felt in Australia yet. It's coming though, and if it doesn't come through BTS, it will probably arrive thanks to BLACKPINK, a South Korean girl-group who sit right alongside RÜFÜS DU SOL on the first day of Coachella. It's one of the festival's more out-there bookings but it flags a really exciting time for the genre's commercial/mainstream push, and it wouldn't be surprising to see an Australian promoter test the waters by bringing an act like BLACKPINK over to Australia - especially considering the overwhelming success of Japanese rock group BABYMETAL at the recent Good Things Festival.
4) Australian electronic is bigger than ever internationally
Much of the international talk on Australian electronic in the past has revolved around artists like Flume and Alison Wonderland, and while the latter did release , the former has been busy in the studio working on his third album - which will most likely arrive this year. Neither of the two, however, make an appearance on this year's Coachella lineup (Alison Wonderland did play last year, though), but there's no absence of Australian electronic on this year's line-up - in fact, aside from Tame Impala's pole position and Parcels' slot (even though they're technically no longer AU-based), the rest of the Australian contingent at Coachella is electronic. There's RÜFÜS DU SOL as mentioned before, but there's also FISHER, Mansionair and LA-via-Sydney ex-pat Anna Lunoe - each joining the lineup after pretty monumental 2018s for their respective reasons.
5) There's a tonne of incredible new music on the way
Generally speaking, unless they're a legacy act, it's not often that Coachella book an artist without a major release within a year or so before the event. The large bulk of the acts performing this year hold true to that - Ariana Grande released Sweetener last year with another, Thank U, Next on the way this year and Janelle Monàe, The 1975, RÜFÜS, Kid Cudi (as KIDS SEE GHOSTS, with Kanye), Bad Bunny and CHRVCHES all released stellar albums last year. However, in saying that, there's a bunch of artists high up on the lineup yet to release new music, and it may hold some hints at what to expect over the next few months. Childish Gambino is yet to release his 'final' album and with a headline slot at the festival, there's a high chance it should be coming before mid-April. Solange has been teasing her A Seat At The Table follow-up for a while, letting it slip that she's planning to surprise-release it any minute now. Tame Impala have theirs yet to come as mentioned, as does Billie Eilish, Khalid and presumably Gesaffelstein, who has been teasing a new collaboration with The Weeknd over the last few days. Don't be surprised to see all the albums drop before or shortly after the April festival.
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