We attend Coachella 2023 vicariously through a playlist featuring Frank Ocean, Rosalía, and Bad Bunny.
At long last, the Coachella lineup has arrived – and it did not disappoint. It’s a star-studded roster, so influential that it’s pulled Frank Ocean out of his four year performing hiatus – which is no easy feat! Ocean, whose latest releases have only been of the luxury jewellery kind, has largely been keeping to himself. Yet, in April he’ll emerge from his cave – how so? Well, the other acts set to hit the stage are nothing short of iconic. Established icons like Bjork and Gorillaz will make an appearance, while worldwide sensations Rosalía, Bad Bunny, and Kali Uchis are set to rep the Hispanic community. Not to mention, major players of the electro scene like Charli XCX and Yung Lean will also impart their gift. If, like us, flying to California isn’t quite an option – we’ve put together a playlist so you can be there in spirit.
Head below for more…
Frank Ocean – “Lost”
Starting off with our M.I.A king, we’ve decided to go with “Lost” for this playlist. Plucked straight from Ocean’s breakout album Channel Orange, this track is transcendental. Those guitar riffs meld with Ocean’s silky smooth voice, as he takes us by the hand on a journey through his emotional landscape. He’s got such an aptitude for storytelling, and in this track he paints such a clear picture of being, well “Lost”.
Rosalía – “SAOKO”
Next up is Rosalía. Her latest album Motomami set the world on fire. Departing from her usual Flamenco-inspired sound, Rosalía took a chance with this album – and it paid off tenfold. The track from Motomami that perfectly encapsulates this metamorphosis is “SAOKO”. It’s a riff off of the reggaeton classic “Saoko” by Wisin and Daddy Yanke. And with lyrics like, “Yo soy muy mía, yo me transformo/ Una mariposa yo me transformo/ Makeup de drag queen yo me transformo” – she likens herself to butterflies and drag queens – affirming that transformation is in her nature.
Bjork – “Army of Me”
Bjork’s musical repertoire is vast, and deeply experimental – there are layers upon layers to discover. That said, we could’ve easily recommended “Venus As A Boy” or “It’s Oh So Quiet”, tracks that broke the mainstream into a million pieces. However, we’ve decided to go with “Army Of Me”. Taken from her sophomore album, this track is widely loved, no doubt, but it’s harsher – more confrontational. It’s empowering, referring to ‘the self’ as an army – and it’s coupled with a spellbindingly surreal music video. In the visuals, Bjork drives a colossal tank, proceeds to get a diamond pulled from her teeth by a gorilla dentist, and then blows up an art museum? It’s as esoteric as we’ve come to expect from Bjork, but that’s precisely why we love her.
Bad Bunny – “Si Veo a Tu Mamá”
Taking a sample from the Bossa Nova classic, “The Girl From Ipanema”, “Si Veo a Tu Mamá” is a bop to its core. Bad Bunny has a knack for crafting up addictive tunes, and we think this track shows his sheer talent. Lamenting a lost love, Bad Bunny hides the melancholy under the layers of a head-bopping beat, and stellar production chops.
Gorillaz – “Out Of Body”
There’s a mountain of Gorillaz tracks that everyone and their mother knows – so we thought we’d offer up a lesser-known track, “Out Of Body”. Taken from Humanz, released in 2021, this song is a meeting of minds. A collaborative effort between Kilo Kish, Zebra Katz, and Imani Vonshà, “Out Of Body” is a sonic journey. Soft spoken word riffs off of electronic embellishments, as the track crescendos, and builds intensity. Culminating in a feat of euphoric synths, “Out Of Body” is the perfect track to watch the city’s lights whizz past on a late night drive.
Charli XCX – “Hot Girl”
Crafted up for the A24 film Bodies, bodies, bodies, “Hot Girl” is thrilling. A revving engine propels the song forward, as a thumping bass lays the foundation for Charli XCX’s take-no-shit lyrics to have their fun. Phrases like “I’m a hot girl/Rich girl/I’m a bitch girl” bear a striking resemblance to our daily affirmations – so if you’re ever in need of a pick me up, Charli XCX is your (hot) girl.
Yung Lean – “Princess Daisy”
Calling all Sad Boys! While “Ginseng Strip 2002” might’ve become a TikTok trend, there’s a wealth of Yung Lean tracks that are still sacred. One of those is “Princess Daisy”, off of his 2013 album Unknown Death 2002. The track just emanates chill. Lean’s commanding flow drives the nasty beat, and producer Yung Gud’s knack for discovering spine-tingling samples is once again out on display.
Kali Uchis – “Tirano”
Last, but not at all least, is Miss Kali Uchis. A firebomb on and off the stage, we’ve decided to finish this playlist off in a blaze with “Tirano”. The Spanish version of “Tyrant”, which originally features the sensational Jorja Smith, “Tirano” just has a little more fuego. There’s something about Uchis singing in her native tongue that stirs our spirit – and we’re teeming with envy at those who get to witness her perform.