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Best Up-And-Coming Chicago Bands To Check Out In 2016

Think of Chicago-based bands and you probably think of established musical acts that include Wilco, Fall Out Boy, Kanye West, Liz Phair, Chicago and represent an assortment of genres. But what about musical acts that are up-and-coming? This year, make it part of your new year's resolution to support Chicago's local music scene and check out these bands and solo artists who call the Windy City home. If you're looking for musicians that are new to you, then keep reading.

The Fox & The Hounds

Billed as "Chicago's only burlesque rock n' roll band," The Fox & The Hounds is a band you need to listen to. The band has released their latest album "Peachy Keen" last year to warm reviews. The six-track album is non-stop and filled with in-your-face tracks. Peachy Keen is a must-listen for anyone who wants to breathe some life into their music selections, and is a follow up to the band's self-titled 13-track album. Spend a few minutes listening to the band's unique style by checking out their songs online. Although The Fox & The Hounds describe their sound as rock, plenty of other musical influences can be heard. Want to see The Fox & The Hounds in concert? Then you're in luck, as the band performs in venues throughout Chicago.

The Heard

The Chicago-based funk band The Heard dropped their self-titled debut album in autumn 2015 and have gotten quite a lot of notice along the way. The 11-track album was praised from media outlets that include NYS Music, and you should do yourself a favor and check out the band's SoundCloud page and give the band's tracks a listen. What's on the horizon for The Heard? The band will perform on select dates of The Motet's upcoming tour.

Miles Over Mountains
Miles Over Mountains (Photo: Phillip Hosticka)

Miles Over Mountains

Fans of bluegrass and Americana music will want to keep Miles Over Mountains on the radar. The band has released their debut CD "Five Star Heart Breaker" and spent 2015 performing in the Chicago area. The quartet incorporates the mandolin, banjo and upright bass in their musical performances to create an authentic sound. The McHenry-based quartet — Sean Shiel, Caleb Peters, AJ Knaack and Steve Hansen — has performed in venues that include Durty Nellie's in Palatine and Martyrs' in Chicago's Northcenter neighborhood, and upcoming dates are shared on the band's Facebook page.

Steve Grand

There's a good chance you first heard of Steve Grand in 2013 when he released the music video for his song "All-American Boy." The music video became a hit almost overnight, with Grand receiving national acclaim, praise and attention from the likes of Advocate, Chicago Tribune, Billboard and other media outlets. The singer and songwriter, who is from the western suburbs of Chicago, has since released the 13-track album "All American Boy" to warm reviews in 2015. The much-anticipated album, which includes the tunes "Say You Love Me," "Stay," and the LGBT anthem "We Are The Night," has appealed to Grand's fans.

Related: Best Chicago Photographers To Follow On Instagram

Tiny Fireflies

Dream pop band Tiny Fireflies have been performing and recording music since the group's start in 2010, with "Picture Perfect" in 2012 and "Change" in 2011. However, it was in 2015 when they released their debut full-length album "The Space Between." The nine-track album has been well received and includes the must-listen tracks "Brightest Star" and "Taken." Tiny Fireflies has performed throughout Chicago, and a list of upcoming performances is available via the band's Facebook page.

Yoko And The Oh No's

In Yoko and The Oh No's self-titled album, listeners are treated to rock and soul with a throwback sound that's refreshing to hear. The album, which was released in 2015, received warm reviews along the way and has 10 tracks packed with punch. The band's members — Max Goldstein, Max Loebman and Stef Roti — give their songs a creative twist that rock fans are sure to enjoy. The Chicago-based band has performed in the city quite a few times, so it's likely you've seen the group at Double Door, The Abbey and other popular venues. Check out the band's sound by giving a listen to their self-titled album online.

Related: Best Record Stores In Chicago

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in "-er." She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at

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