We here at Epitonic strive to maintain a global perspective for sure, but we're based in Chicago and try keep our roots close as well; we try and keep abreast of what's going on in our Windy City. Luckily we have friends like Jason Behrends at The Deli Chicago with a finger firmly on the pulse on the local scene. Without further ado, Jason takes a retrospective look at Chicago music in 2011 and curates a playlist of all Chicago artists.

"When you look back at this year in Chicago music, and in music as a whole, the only fitting word that comes to mind is eclectic. It seems we are at a point Chicago music where almost anything goes. Musicians are able to pulling a wide range of influences, sounds, and technologies to create a sound that unique to them but at the same time representative of a previous sound or style. This year we saw the launch of our indie darlings Smith Westerns with classic retro surf sound rock sounds. We were also treated to new albums from Wilco, Maps & Atlases, Owen, The Island of Misfit Toys, Dastardly, and others who embrace that rootsy Americana sound that the City has become known for. However, we also saw the raise of a more electronic sound with releases from How To Dress Well, Salem, Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross, Supreme Cuts, and others. Bands like A Lull and YAWN released albums that blend both sounds, and truly stand out in that way. Although my list does not include them, but we also had solid and major releases from hip hop community with the long-awaited debut from The Cool Kids, the rise of Rockie Fresh, an EP from Kid Sister, new album from Serengeti, and more.

Young Man "Up So Fast"
YAWN "Never Knew (Saki Session)
Owen "I Believe"
Santah "White Noise Bed"
Smith Westerns "Still New"
A Lull "Pot Luck"
Maps and Atlases "Solid Ground"
The Island Of Misfit Toys "Hermit Crab"
Love of Everything "Three Way Answers"
Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross "Blacks"

It has been a great year in Chicago music and I can't wait to see what 2012 brings." 

-- Jason Behrends 
Editor - The Deli Chicago