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2012 Sounded Good: The Best Breakout Music Acts In Chicago

JC Brooks And The Uptown Sound

By Angela Hazen

Chicagoans love local bands and travel all over the city to hear their favorite acts live. Chicago bands may start off with small gigs, but word of mouth can quickly propel them into larger venues and grow their status. Just remember that you listened to them before they made it big. Every year, new bands are making their mark in big cities, and Chicago is no different. Here are some new bands that have come into their own in 2012.

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound

What does a post-punk soul band sound like? It sounds just like JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound. This Chicago group is a crowd pleaser with its distinct sound and lively band. JC Brooks is an expressive frontman and infuses his energy into the crowd. When you hear JC Brooks and & the Uptown Sound live, you can see that this group will gain more fans with every performance. These talented individuals were on stage at Lollapalooza, so people all over the world got to see this superb band play.

Driftless Pony Club

Driftless Pony Club

Magnificent! That's not just the name of local indie rockers Driftless Pony Club's new album in 2012, it's also how the group's fans feel about the band. Even though this band is based in Chicago, it has been traveling around the country sharing music with the masses. Because of this, DPC's fan base has grown exponentially, and if you didn't get to see a show this year, there will be plenty of performances in the future.


Raise your hand if you think banjos and accordions can be popular in Chicago. Chicago band Dastardly will change your mind about the Chicago music scene. This musical group brings a downhome, country feel to its music and it is totally refreshing. When more people hear this band, they will become instant fans. Even the most hardened Chicagoans will smile when they hear Dastardly's music for the first time.


Haley Reinhart

This Wheeling singer got her start on "American Idol," and since then she's showcased her talent all over the country. At only 22, she has a promising musical future ahead. Her first album debuted this year and she has been interviewed on TV numerous times. Now that she's made a substantial mark on 2012, let's see what she will do next year.

Swimsuit Addition

If you are familiar with the Milwaukee Avenue music scene, you may have already heard about Chicago band Swimsuit Addition. If you are ready to venture into a fresh new world of the Chicago music scene, you are in for a treat if you catch a show with this area favorite. And don't worry, the group members don't wear swimsuits during performances.

Angela Hazen lives in Oak Park, IL. She has worked as a model in Chicago and studied broadcast journalism at Columbia College Chicago. She has traveled to Europe on several occasions, and keeps her readers up to date with local and international style, shopping, fashion and beauty trends. Her work can be found at

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