Summer is here and with it, the season brings warm weather and outdoor music festivals. Once the sun comes out and festivals across the world announce lineups, each one having big names while also providing a platform for the headliners of tomorrow.
Most recently, the California music and arts festival known as Desert Daze, which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, announced its lineup today (June 13). Unlike other cookie-cutter lineups, Desert Daze remains one of the few true hold-outs where psych music plays the upper hand. The lineup curation always surprises and this year’s lineup is loaded with some of the most innovative artists today where primal forms of “rock” serve as its foundation. The festival is held on Moreno Beach in Lake Perris, California, and will kick off on September 30 and will take up the entire weekend.
Although it’s early, Glide couldn’t help itself and has gone through this year’s lineup and picked the top seven acts returning to the sun-drenched festival and seven newcomers you won’t want to miss.
1. Soul Glo
Philadelphia’s punk scene’s latest offering Soul Glo is coming off an electric time of their career. Earlier this year, their album Diaspora Problems was released to critical acclaim. Their harsh and abrasive nature is sure to translate beautifully to live performance.
2. Buck Meek
The minimalist folk act of singer/songwriter Buck Meek creates intimate energy. Known as a member of Big Thief, Meek’s solo work shows the influence his distinct guitar plucking has on the band’s sound.
3. Nilüfer Yanya
Nilüfer Yanya has been dazzling audiences with her combination of soulful melodies and rock-centric power chords. She’s bringing her stellar new album PAINLESS to the desert for what is bound to be an unforgettable performance.
4. Black Country, New Road
After skyrocketing to the forefront of the U.K.’s rock scene with their progressive debut For The First Time, Black Country, New Road has been one of the most exciting bands to watch. Their ever-changing sound is enticing and only expanded on their 2022 record Ants From Up There. How they will structure their setlist will be interesting to see, especially after the announcement that their lead singer/songwriter and guitarist Isaac Wood is leaving the band.
5. John Carroll Kirby
The sweeping piano melodies that come out of John Carroll Kirby’s fingers are awe-inspiring. Going from producing records for the likes of Frank Ocean and Solange to being signed to the famous Stones Throw Records, Kirby has had a hell of a career and his latest project Dance Ancestral is bound to transcend on the live stage.
6. Daniel Rossen
The Grizzly Bear frontman might provide a bit of a slowdown for the psych-laden festival but his 2022 solo album has garnered rave reviews and promises to offer some lyrical and insightful forays. While his “other” band never did yet play Lake Perris, Rossen’s set will surely be a choice wildcard.
7. Nation of Language
Indie with a new-wave slant isn’t often found at Desert Daze, but this Future Islands slanted bands combine danceable rights rhythms and a frantic lead singer that if this were 1981, they’d be headlining arenas.
1. Tame Impala (Played in 2018)
Indie rock icons Tame Impala are also celebrating an anniversary along with the festival itself. The band will be performing their debut album Lonerism in full to celebrate a decade since its original release. The show is sure to be a sight to see but specific songs like “Elephant” and “Apocalypse Dreams” are songs to look out for.
2. King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard ( Played in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019)
Everyone’s favorite psych rockers from Australia are returning to Desert Daze yet again. Their psychedelic sound transcends time and the surplus of material they have under their belts guarantees a different setlist for each show. In all that material stands one lone collaboration album (Sketches of Brunswick East), a band also playing at this year’s festival. Fans are anticipating a cross-over set, but if that doesn’t happen maybe anything else from their twenty or so albums.
3. BADBADNOTGOOD (Played in 2017)
The Canadian jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD has been one of the most sought-after acts of their time. Combining their classic jazz influences with hip-hop, they have collaborated with legends like Ghostface Killah and modern icons like Kaytranada. Their sound is danceable and fun but each member’s understanding of their instrument proves how musically skilled these guys are.
4. Iggy Pop (Played in 2017)
‘Not much more can be said about punk’s godfather of all things outrageous, shirtless and middle finger to the establishment. While his 2017 appearance provided a run through Stooges material, perhaps this year will feature Post Pop Depression material off his 2017 album that featured nearby desert resident Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age).
5. Automatic (Played in 2019)
This all-female trio came seemingly out of nowhere with their debut 2019 album Signal released through Stones Throw. Their punk roots shine through their music and their breakthrough single “Too Much Money” is a fuzzy, energetic record that sounds great live. Their sophomore album Excess is due out June 24 so the band will have an arsenal of new material to bring to the stage.
6. Viagra Boys (Played in 2019)
Viagra boys started out with a cult following in their home country Sweden before blowing up in the U.K. Three albums deep, the Viagra Boys have been releasing self-aware punk tunes with a reckless abandon since 2016. The signature baritone voice of their frontman Sebastian Murphy cuts through the band’s electronic take on classic punk harmonies and provides one of rock’s most daring live shows. Their new record Cave World will be released on July 8 on YEAR0001 Records.
7. JJUUJJUU (Played in 2016 and 2019)
Veterans to the festival, JJUUJJUU returns for another set in the desert that promises to be dark, eerie, trippy, and psych AF. Their combination of hard rock and ambient electronic music is jarring but so eloquently done that their set promises to be one of great peaks and valleys.