Country/City of origin: Leeds, England
Featured track: "Tessellate" from An Awesome Wave
Genre: Indie rock
In one sentence: "Sly, funky ex-metal drummer Thom Green and gnomish frontman Joe Newman turn mere prettiness into something stranger. It’s music for wine bars serving very strong vintages." - Rolling Stone
Why we chose them: With such a successful start in the industry (the band's debut album was released in May 2012; the group won the British Mercury Prize six months later), Alt-J is one of the most buzzed about bands at the conference this year. It's dark, "intelli-indie" music from a quartet of nerdy-cool guys that ranges from weird and sexy to glitchy and electronic. Pitchfork hates them, so that's reason enough for us to like them.
SXSW official shows: Wednesday, March 13 (12:30 a.m.) at Stubbs; Thursday, March 14 at The Belmont