Almost anyone can name a few major artists that hail from the Windy City – Fall Out Boy, Kanye West, and Chicago, just to name a few. But many don’t know that the city has its own thriving music scene of up-and-comers that deserve your attention as well. So listen up and keep an eye out for these indie acts, some brand new and some more well known. No matter the level of familiarity, always remember to support your local artists.
The Fox & The Hounds
The Fox & The Hounds is a six-piece powerhouse that advertises to be Chicago’s only burlesque rock n’ roll band, and their latest EP, Peachy Keen, delivers on that aesthetic. Helmed by lead singer Kendel and supported by backup vocalists Kate and Katie, the trio on Peachy Keen manages to get the party started, never letting it die through just six songs. Check out The Fox and The Hounds‘ music video for ‘How The Other Half Live’ to get a feel of the fun, sexy vibe embedded in each of their songs, and just try not to dance along. The band got its start in a Lakeview basement and now plays regular shows throughout Chicago and the Midwest. Catch them next in Milwaukee and then back in the Windy City for a Halloween show.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Six-man band Cardinal Harbor debuted their new EP Euclid this summer, and it has been garnering Chicago attention ever since. Their sound is the perfect easy listening rhythm everyone needs after a long day, as evident by their most recent recording session in suburban Oak Park. ‘$60 T-Shirt’ blends notes of synthesized vocals and comfort melodies throughout. And the positive response to their refined indie rock on Euclid prompted a few local shows in the city. They played Navy Pier and Lincoln Hall over the summer, and you can catch them at PUB OK in October and Happy Hour at Hubbard in November.
The Heard describes itself as Chicago’s Funk Machine, and for a good reason. Their front line has all the makings of legendary funk in the form of trombones, trumpets, and saxophones. If you’re looking for a throwback groove, these are the guys that will get you in the mood. They’ve played the Chicago festival circuit in the past and have a special relationship with North Coast Music Fest, but they also make their way around local venues. Congress Theater, Metro Chicago, and Lincoln Hall, to name a few, have played host to The Heard. Check out their SoundCloud tracks to get to know them, and follow their social media channels for the best up-to-date info on where to hear them next.
This young, soulful artist from the western suburbs of Chicago has been making waves since the release of his debut album, All-American Boy, three years ago. The lead single of the same name was a massive hit in 2013 and tells the story of a country boy falling in love with his best male friend, and the stigma that goes along with it. Ever since then, Steve Grand has used his platform to be an advocate for LGBTQ rights. He has an active YouTube page that he uses to connect with and produce content for his fans. He’s appeared on talk shows, played across the country and even around the world. His next upcoming show dates are in New Orleans, but he always manages to cycle back to Chicago.
Ally Ahern is the definition of small and mighty. Her dainty, sweet appearance, and young age may mislead listeners into thinking she’s just another pop princess wannabe. But after listening to her five-song, self-titled debut EP, you will know she’s anything but. ‘Forks and Knives’ is a 50-second song that kicks off the compilation and is more guttural spoken word than singing. But as the EP continues, you get a sampling of her haunting and captivating vocals. At just 18 years old, she’s generating considerable buzz on Chicago music blogs and emerging into a promising career. Check out her SoundCloud and follow her on Facebook for updates.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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