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The Best Local Chicago Alternative Bands

Grapetooth at Lincoln Hall. Photo by ANCHR Magazine.

Black Square

Photo from Black Square’s Instagram: @officialblacksquare

Black Square is a relatively new local alternative-indie band that is definitely one of my favorites right now. They released their first single called “Japanese Palm Trees” back in 2018, and their most recent single “Taking a Train” was released a few months ago in October of 2019.

“Taking a Train” has to be my favorite out of everything they released so far given its catchy lyrics and clever beat. This song specifically resembles “Remember When” by Wallows, and I get a lot of Wallows similarities throughout all of their music.

Beach Bunny

Beach Bunny has actually gained a lot of popularity within the past year – and for good reason. But, I am still adding them to this list since they are a relatively new band.

Beach Bunny has recently come out with popular hits like “Prom Queen” and “Painkiller” both of which have gained listens by a younger demographic. But, I think their music can be enjoyed by many people regardless of age. I think their angsty lyrics is what ultimately attracts their younger audience.

They still perform regularly in Chicago venues despite their newfound popularity. Next week on February 13, they are going to be in Sleeping Village in Chicago for their album listening party.


This Chicago-based punk band has been putting out music since 2013 when they put out their self-titled EP’s. Their guitar-heavy instrumentals and iconic punk vocals refine their personal musical identity which I think a lot of local bands fail to do effectively.

One of my favorite songs from them is “Technicolor” which features Lydia Loveless. Both of their vocals sound great on the track, and they are definitely a band you should go listen to.


Grapetooth is a duo that makes synth-alternative music that corresponds to more modern styles of music. When I heard about this band, I was instantly intrigued because Twin Peaks’ Clay Frankel and Homesick’s Chris Bailoni are the two that created this power-duo. I love Twin Peaks and Homesick’s music, so I was very excited to hear the sound of Grapetooth.

“Trouble” by Grapetooth is a great song that I thoroughly enjoy. Its catchy beat and lyrics are so fun and mindless. The band is able to incorporate multiple genres of music into one cohesive sound which is really cool.


Photo from

This is another band that has a little more popularity, but I feel like not enough people know about them. Therefore, I feel it is acceptable to include them on this list.

This is a Chicago-based indie-pop band that incorporates both dreamy and power-pop sounds. Their female lead singer’s voice is both delicate and energetic which is very enjoyable to listen to. I am surprised this band does not have more popularity than it currently has.

#alternative #bands #chicago #Music


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