SONG TO DOWNLOAD: "Cannabis Canyon"
WHY THEM: Before Reptar crushed SXSW 2011, the new-wave-y synth-pop quartet paid their dues via prehistoric methods like playing house parties and meandering through the college-radio circuit. (En route to SXSW this year, we caught them turning a daytime living-room show in Asheville, NC, into a full-on rager, with kids crowd surfing, dancing, and generally going nuts until the cops arrived.) Now, though, these college-aged kids are moving up in the world: most notably, they recently laid down their Afro-beat-inspired dance jams on a seven-inch with producer Ben Allen (P. Diddy, Gnarls Barkley, Animal Collective), to be released on Allen's label Make Records Not Bombs. Reptar is currently in a middle ground between their DIY buzz-band roots and major-indie-success-story status. With sets slotted for Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits later this year, we're pretty sure they'll be teetering toward the latter.
ALSO CONSIDERED Quiet Hooves — Experimental pop group and DIY heroes that we first learned about through bands like Prince Rama and Quilt, but coincidentally are listed first in the "influences" section of Reptar's MySpace page.