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Coachella 2014: Ones to Watch

Despite the temperatures at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the desert bacchanal still offers an oasis for up-and-coming bands.

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Despite the soaring temperatures and throngs of boho-chic poseurs that have come to define the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the desert bacchanal still offers an oasis for up-and-coming bands ready to go big. As headliners Outkast, Arcade Fire and Muse take center stage at the fest, which kicks off the first of two three-day-weekend runs on Friday, here are our best bets for the little bands that could.


MS MR

Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sound: “It’s like atmospheric, left-field alternative pop,” producer Max Hershenow says of their sound. “It’s really epic and dramatic,” adds vocalist Lizzy Plapinger.

Style: As part of her evolution into a “sportier, sexy, Nineties R&B aesthetic,” Plapinger wants to collaborate with designers like Chromat and Andrea Doria, the latter of whom designed her “psychedelic” Coachella ensemble inspired by the twosome’s kaleidoscopic “Think of You” music video. The free spirit, known to rock everything from spandex to neon tresses, also switched her hair color to fuchsia. Hershenow describes his sportswear-inspired fest look, designed by Phlemuns, as “bridging the gap between New York rocker and gay athlete.”

Breakout Moments: Playing for 12,000 people at Splendour in the Grass in Australia last year had a huge impact. “Every single person in the audience was singing along. It was bonkers. It felt like a Beyoncé or Kiss concert,” Plapinger recalls. Another highlight: when “Game of Thrones” included their first original song, “Bones,” in the trailer for season three. “We were just so thrilled,” says Hershenow, who adds that the band watched the entire HBO series on the tour bus.

Fun Fact: The duo both attended Vassar, but didn’t join musical forces until after college. “The first time we ever got in the studio together to make music was really the first time we ever hung out,” Plapinger reveals.

Day Job: Plapinger founded Neon Gold Records with childhood pal Derek Davies and released early singles from Coachella artists including Ellie Goulding, Chvrches and The Naked and Famous. The music executive calls their subsequent success “pretty magical.”

Up Next: A second pop-centric album, which they hope to release next year.


NEXT: The Preatures >>


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