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While Coachella’s first weekend made headlines for its star-studded attendance list, outrageous outfits and surprise guest appearances, music was still at the heart of the event.
Along with headline performances from Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, and The Weeknd and Swedish House Mafia, fans also got to see live sets from Phoebe Bridgers, Carly Rae Jepsen, Megan Thee Stallion and more.
A number of these artists took the opportunity to try out some new material on the crowds. Here are the ones that had everyone talking.
Harry Styles – “Boyfriends” and “Late Night Talking”
Harry Styles surprised fans during his headline set on 15 April with guest Shania Twain who, he claimed, taught him how to sing as a child, when his mum would play her music in the car. The two performed “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” and “You’re Still the One” together, with Twain describing herself as “starstruck” in Styles’ presence between tracks.
During his set – which included the One Direction Hit “What Makes You Beautiful” along with tracks from his self-titled debut album and 2019’s Fine Line – Styles dropped two new songs, “Late Night Talking” and “Boyfriends”. The two tracks were performed after Styles released his latest single “As It Was”.
All three songs are expected to appear on Styles’s forthcoming third album, Harry’s House (released 20 May).
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Western Wind”
Carly Rae Jepsen delighted fans on Friday when she performed new track “Western Wind”, which she had previously teased via billboards and on social media.
Billboards were spotted on 7 April advertising Carly Rae Jepsen the song, with a phone number that, when called, played a pre-recorded message from Jepsen promising new music.
— landon (@mdnainthezone) April 16, 2022
The slow pop track is Jepsen’s first new song since 2020’s festive single, “It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries”. Jepsen released her latest album, Dedicated Side B, in May 2020, as a companion album to 2019’s Dedicated.
Megan Thee Stallion – untitled diss track
A week before her Coachella performance, Megan Thee Stallion tweeted: “I got this song that I recorded and every time I play it for a woman they start jumping and clapping.
“I think I wanna perform it at Coachella for the first time before I actually drop it,” she wrote.
Lil Kim comparisons flooded Twitter following Megan’s Sunday performance of the new, unnamed track, which samples Jadeci, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah’s 2009 “Freek’n You”.
“This song is very motherf***ing personal to me,” the rapper said, introducing the track. “And it’s to whom it may the f** concern.”
— Stallion Access (@StallionAccess) April 17, 2022
The track is a self-love diss track, in which Megan tears her ex down with lines such as, “Still can’t believe I used to f** with you / Popping Plan B’s ‘cause I ain’t playing to be stuck with you,” and, “I’m the only reason that your goofy ass got b*tches.”
Megan has since tweeted a video teasing the studio version of the song as she raps and dances along. “LADIESSSS LOVE YOURSELF CAUSE THIS S*** CAN GET UGLY,” she wrote on Monday18 April, referring to a line in the song.
LADIESSSS LOVE YOURSELF CAUSE THIS SHIT CAN GET UGLY🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/jLz3rIPr6N
— TINA SNOW (@theestallion) April 18, 2022
She later confirmed that the track will be released this Friday (22 April), a week after she first performed it at Coachella.
Arcade Fire – WE
On Thursday (14 April), Arcade Fire surprised fans with a last-minute announcement that they would be performing at Coachella the following day.
Less than a minute into new track “The Lightning, I, II” – which was released in March – frontman Win Butler had to stop the band’s performance after spotting a fan in the pit who needed help.
After a rocky start, Arcade Fire played multiple tracks from their forthcoming album, WE (out on 6 May), alongside fan-favourites “Ready to Start”, “The Suburbs” and “Wake Up”.
The band reportedly won’t be returning for Coachella’s second weekend.
Doja Cat – “Vegas”, “F***ed Up”
Doja Cat brought crowd-pleasing guests along with her for her Coachella set, including Tyga, who delivered his verse on “Juicy”, and Rico Nasty who joined in for “Tia Tamera”.
Despite recently expressing that she wanted to quit the music industry, Doja also shared some new music.
“Vegas”, which interpolates Big Mama Thornton’s version of “Hound Dog”, is set to feature on the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s forthcoming biopic, Elvis. Doja’s performance of the track was accompanied by flashy stage lighting and an array of backup singers and dancers in matching black and white, optical illusion-style outfits.
Another new track, the rap/rock amalgamation “F***ed Up”, was performed after. The track follows Doja’s recent cover of Hole’s rock track “Celebrity Skin”, which prompted lead singer Courtney Love to call Doja a “rock goddess”.
Måneskin – “Gasoline”
Måneskin, the Italian rock band who rose to international acclaim after winning 2021’s Eurovision Song Contest, didn’t pull any punches at their debut Coachella performance.
Appearing in characteristic glam rock leather and knee-high boots on Sunday night, the band covered Britney Spears’s hit “Womanizer” and debuted a new track, “Gasoline”.
In English, lead singer Damiano David sings: “How are you sleeping at night? / How do you close both your eyes, / Living with all of those lives on your hands?”
The song, which was originally teased on Instagram on 8 April and was inspired by Russia’s invasion into Ukraine, continues to the chorus that repeats: “We’re gonna dance on gasoline”.
As Måneskin performed the track at Coachella on Sunday, images from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine flashed on to the screen.
“We’re using our voice to demand action, and you can, too,” the band wrote on Instagram.