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Coachella's Fresh Talent

At Coachella, up-and-coming music groups Band of Skulls, Little Dragon and Passion Pit mix style and sound.

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Hundreds of thousands of music fans will flock to Indio, Calif., starting today for the three-day Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. They will bake in the sun and watch performances by Jay-Z, Muse, the Gorillaz, Charlotte Gainsbourg, She & Him’s Zooey Deschanel, Phoenix, Gary Numan and more than 100 other live acts. Here are some of the up-and-coming bands to watch.

Major Lazer
Home: Jamaica Sound: Futuristic reggae by mix masters Diplo and Switch.
Style: Military chic befitting Major Lazer, a fictitious Jamaican commando created by the duo.
Fun Fact: Most of their 2009 album, “Guns Don’t Kill People…Lazers Do,” was recorded at Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong studios in Jamaica.

The Avett Brothers

Hometown:Concord, N.C.
Sound: Rootsy rock with a bit of punk dissonance
Style: With bassist Bob Crawford, brothers Scott and Seth Avett are scruffy Southern boys who switch between Costume National suits, Americana-inspired sportswear by Rag & Bone and Western duds from Wrangler and Ely.
Buzz: Their earnest, emotional songs won over uberproducer Rick Rubin, who signed the band to his label, American Recordings, in 2008.

Band of Skulls
Hometown:
Southampton, England
Sound: Foot-stomping rock
Style: Singer Russell Marsden and drummer Matt Hayward stick with Ts, jeans, leather jackets and scruffy beards, while bassist Emma Richardson is a dead ringer for the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde with her shaggy pageboy.
Fun Fact: “Twilight” fans will recognize the rollicking riffs in the song “Friends” from the megahit film “New Moon.”

Beach House
Hometown:
Baltimore
Sound: Dream pop that touches on longing, heartbreak and anger
Style: Victoria Legrand has eclectic tastes that range from cut-off shorts to high-waisted pants and vintage hats; Alex Scally has been wearing a lot of black.
Buzz: The duo has burnished their indie cred by playing at the Sundance Film Festival.

Deadmau5
Home:
Toronto
Sound: Electro-house
Style: Singular band member Joel Zimmerman wears standard T-shirts and jeans, plus a giant, costume mouse head. (Deadmau5 is pronounced “dead mouse.”)
Buzz: He performed for his fellow Canadians at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Kate Miller-Heidke
Hometown: Brisbane, Australia
Sound: A classically trained voice that bops across octaves, often compared with Cyndi Lauper.
Style: As if Alice in Wonderland went to a rave. Buzz: “Are You F***king Kidding Me (The Facebook Song)” — a ballad about her failed attempt to connect with an ex on Facebook — has become a viral hit on the Internet.

King Khan and the Shrines
Hometown:
Montreal
Sound: Psychedelic rhythm & blues.
Style: Leisure suits, kurtas, man-dresses and donkey teeth necklaces that purportedly ward off evil.
Fun Fact: King Khan (aka Erick Khan) credits his wife, Lil, with making the outrageous costumes for him and the eight-piece band.

Little Dragon
Hometown:
Gothenburg, Sweden
Sound: Space-age electronica grounded by a soulful voice
Style: Håkan Wirenstrand, Fredrik Wallin and Erik Bodin are sound nerds who wear whatever is given to them, while singer Yukimi Nagano collaborates with Swedish designer AnnLouise Landelius for avant-garde getups.
Fun Fact: Raised in a family of artists, Nagano enlisted her father to animate the band’s video “Swimming.”

Mayer Hawthorne
Hometown:
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Sound: A soulful crooner
Style: Don Draper if he were raised by Hollywood hipsters.
Fun Fact: Fans include Justin Timberlake and Mark Ronson.

Miike Snow
Home:
New York and Stockholm.
Sound: Vampire Weekend goes electro-pop.
Style: Silk bowling jackets.
Fun Fact: Members include songwriter Andrew Wyatt, and producers Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg, the men responsible for Britney Spears’ hit “Toxic.”

Passion Pit
Home:
Cambridge, Mass.
Sound: Wonky pop racked with upbeat melodies and a catchy synthesizer.
Style: Revenge of the Nerds.
Fun Fact: The term “passion pit” refers to intimate drive-in movie theaters.

Rusko
Hometown:
Leeds, England
Sound: High-energy party music
Style: Self-described “2012 punk rock.”
Buzz: Having coproduced M.I.A.’s new album, Rusko (born Chris Mercer) is now on tour with Major Lazer and waiting for his own album to drop next month.

The XX
Hometown:
South West London
Sound: Sultry indie-punk.
Style: Anything goes, as long as it’s black
Buzz: Rolling Stone magazine ranked their album ninth for “Best of the Year” in 2009.

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